PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — You may still be trying to figure out your November election choices. This vote should be easier: You have a chance to honor local police dogs and help fund their operations.
You can vote in an online contest to find the best police K-9 unit in the Midwest.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department’s 10-member K-9 is up against dozens of other units from police agencies throughout the Midwest for a contest to find out the best of the best.
Representing the unit are Chiko and Kai. Deputy Krystal Stuart is Kai’s handler.
“When you’re going online to vote, you’re actually not voting for a particular dog. It’s us as a whole,” Stuart explained.
The Wyoming Department of Public Safety and the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 units are also part of the competition.
Aftermath, a company that specializes in crime scene and trauma event cleanup, is sponsoring the contest with a $15,000 grand prize.
“The vet bills and the food, when we have 10 dogs on a team, it’s a lot of money. Dogs are expensive,” Stuart said.
While the money could come in handy, the contest also highlights the value of and corrects some myths about K-9 units.
“My dog likes to be pet,” Chiko’s handler Deputy Shelby Humphries said. “He’s very friendly, likes to be out in the community and do community engagement events.”
Voting ends Monday.