Positively Milwaukee

Donor and community fund two New Berlin Police dogs after catching TODAY'S TMJ4 report

CREATED Feb. 21, 2013

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NEW BERLIN – Last month we told you about Bac, a K9 officer in New Berlin’s Police Department.

He turns eleven on Thursday, and will soon be retiring from the job. 

The department started fundraising in November, hoping to raise enough money to pay for a new K-9 officer to add to their force.

Thanks to the generosity of the community, they will soon get two new dogs. 

Chief Joseph Rieder tells TODAY’S TMJ4’s Jesse Ritka how quickly people responded to their plea.

"The community has really come together for us and we're really excited," said Rieder.

They came together just in time.

Sgt. Kevin Turner is K9 Bac’s handler and says the department didn’t have the budget to buy and train two new K9s, "The department actually looked at cutting the canine program," explained Turner.

New Berlin has had two dogs on the force since the 80s but nearly 11-year-old Bac is the only one left on the force. 

"Eventually they have to retire, really what it comes down to is their health and how effective they can be."

Bac doesn’t act like he’s ready for retirement and can still complete his daily training, tasks and missions but the department wanted to prepare for when they have to permanently tell Bac to stay away from the action. 

The department asked residents, businesses and service clubs to help raise the funds for a new K9 officer.

"Once it got rolling, it just kept going and then when we were about $10,000 into that, we had another gentleman step forward, Mr. Stan Kass, who donated for one entire dog, which is around $15,000," said Chief Rieder.

Kass heard about New Berlin’s need from TODAY’S TMJ4’s Courtny Gerrish’s report about Bac’s retirement back in January.

"I wanna see where my inheritance is going and we're just going with police dogs," Kass detailed. 

After hearing the report he had a deal made with New Berlin by 8am the next day.

Still, the dogs are nowhere near New Berlin right now. 

The two dogs will be born in Germany, transported across the Atlantic Ocean to Wisconsin where eventually they'll receive initial training in Campbellsport. 

Chief Rieder says they’ll pick the dogs to match the handlers they choose, who will receive training as well.

"We've had good luck with those dogs, we've had very good luck with this kennel and probably with the same breeder over in Germany," said the Chief.

Good luck may be an understatement for Bac, recovering more than $250,000 in cash in drugs in his long career. 

Sgt. Turner says K9s like Bac are an integral part of the department.

"You have successful apprehensions; successful drug finds that you know would not have occurred without that dog," said Turner.

Bac may be leaving some big paws to fill, but the new pups will be able to do double the work with double the paws.

The New Berlin Police Department was hoping to raise the money by May, but they may actually have the dogs by then since the response has been so overwhelming.