K-9 Unit

K-9 Unit photo 2017

Best Friends of the Force

Our K-9 Unit has been in existence for more than 19 years.  The current unit was formed through the support of the community, and generous donations received by the Kiwanis Club, we have acquired three new dogs: Ricker, Echo and Max.

The dogs and their handlers, Ptl. Dennis Funari, Josh Frey and  JP Toth, completed their training and were officially sworn in on Monday, December 11, 2017.  Read about the unit on page 5

Officer Dennis Funari was the handler for the earlier K-9 that contributed much to the police deoartment:  Floppy, Jaro, and most recently, Chico who passed away in March 2017. 

Vote for WPD K-9 Unit in the 2018 Grant Competition Through Nov. 5

You can vote for the unit in the 2018 Aftermath K9 Grants from Thursday, October 18 - Monday, November 5. (Deadline extended due to technical difficulties on the voting website in the first few days.)  

A total of $16,500 will be distributed through 8 grants to the agencies that receive the most votes that can be used for any of the costs associated with the unit. The winners will be announced on Monday, November 5. 

Last year's winner was the Pekin Police Department in Illinois with a population of 35,000, only about 10% larger than Westlake's population.  

To Cast Your Vote(s)

Individuals may vote ONCE every 12 hours at the website  https://www.aftermath.com/k9-grant/ and ONCE a day on Instagram (follow @AftermathK9Grant for instructions).

Votes can be made by legal residents of the United States who are 6 years of age or older with a valid email address at time of entry. See website for full rules. 

Donate to Support the K-9 Unit

The Westlake Kiwanis' Westlake Kiwanis Youth Foundation Inc. started a Canine Fund in late 2016 that raised approximately $36,000 for the acquisition, training, and deployment of the unit in 2017. 

The Westlake Kiwanis is continuing to accept donations for the ongoing expenses of the unit.  Please make your check payable to Westlake Kiwanis, note on or with the check "Canine Fund," and mail to:

Westlake Kiwanis

25935 Detroit Rd., Box 179

Westlake, OH 44145

Strong Start for the New Unit

In the first 6 months of 2018, the unit was deployed 142 times. 95 were for Community Relations activities, including increased presence in schools and high density areas such as Crocker Park. The Enforcement activities include 16 mutual aid requests for other agencies, 25 sniffs, 9 area searches, and 5 force protection.  Force protection, while low in number, is significant for reducing the need for officer involved use of force and encouraging surrender of dangerous suspects, reducing the risk of injury to both. 18 times the deployment of the K-9 directly led to arrests/citable offenses.