By Leeann Doerflein | Daily Journal
For The Republic
EDINBURGH — The Edinburgh Police Department is raising money to fund its K-9 program during the Fall Festival this weekend.
K-9 Skye retired on Aug. 31 after she sustained two on-duty shoulder injuries. Veterinarians advised Edinburgh Police to retire Skye because it was likely the strain of running while on the job would result in more injuries, said Doyne Little, police chief.
Skye was 6 when she was hired last year, and she was the department’s first officer of two hired to revive the town’s K-9 unit. She officially signed off of duty for the last time after patrolling the Edinburgh Farmers Market with her handler, Officer Darren Koors, on Aug. 31. She’s now enjoying retirement at home with Koors and his family, Little said.
The town council has already authorized the purchase and training of a new K-9 officer. Koors and K-9 Xta, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, are in training together at New Pal K-9. She is being trained in narcotics and tracking and she has outsized bite power for a relatively small dog, Little said.
“I put on the bite suit to see how she does and for a 40-pound dog, I’m impressed,” he said.
The cost to purchase and train Xta is $16,500. Initial funds for the purchase came from excess money that was raised to fund the purchase and care of Skye and the department’s other K-9 officer, Kira. The department’s current fundraiser has a goal to raise the rest of the purchase price for Xta and additional funds that will be used for vet care, food and other expenses for the K-9 officers, Little said.
Chianne Woodall, who raised money to purchase the department’s body cameras in 2020, is leading the fundraiser for K-9 expenses. She and other volunteers will be selling treats and trinkets at the Fall Festival this weekend and the remaining farmers markets of the season, Little said.
The festival began on Wednesday and continues through Saturday. Remaining highlights include carnival rides both days from 5 to 11 p.m., the Fall in Love with Edinburgh parade at 11 a.m. Saturday, and live music from Brown 25 Band at 8 p.m. Saturday.