Laurie City Police Chief Shane Edwards and Laurie Police Officer Dale Heiser are seeking public funds for the purpose of purchasing a police dog for the city of Laurie.


Laurie City Police Chief Shane Edwards and Laurie Police Officer Dale Heiser are seeking public funds for the purpose of purchasing a police dog for the city of Laurie.

Chief Edwards cited the K-9 unit would be a great asset in tracking criminals, officer safety, public relations and in the search and rescue of children or elderly persons.

Chief Edwards also said the police dog would be an excellent weapon in the war against drugs. “We have a major drug problem in the lake area,” warned Chief Edwards.

The war on drugs  
The 14th amendment states it is illegal to search the car of a person suspected of drugs without a search warrant, or their consent.

Officer Heiser, who has experience with K-9 units, and in narcotics enforcement, said that when an officer makes a traffic stop there are certain clues that are tell tale signs there are drugs involved. “The nervousness, the twitching and the darting of the eyes, these are all things that add up to why I am asking for a consent search, and people in this area know they can say no,” said Officer Heiser.

Once they say no, the officer’s hands are tied. With a narcotic dog, an officer can walk the dog around the car, and if there is a positive indication by the dog that there are drugs in the car, it is as good as a search warrant and the officer can enter the car.

Officer Hieser seized a pound of meth and $13,000 in cash in a lake area bust because of a K-9 search.   
Tracking criminals

Chief Edwards said he has had several suspects run off into the woods and if he had a dog he could have tracked them. “

Show me the money
According to Chief Edwards, 90 percent of police dogs are funded through public donations.
The total cost of to purchase the dog and equipment is approximately $10,000. The police dog would live with and be completely handled by Officer Heiser. 

The elderly
Officer Heiser, who previously worked in the Lake Ozark Police Department, told the board he used his former police dog, Yasko, to track an 81 year old female that had wandered away from an Osage Beach nursing home.
“If we save one life it is well worth the cost of the police dog,” said Chief Edwards.

No police dogs on the Westside
There are no police dogs on the Westside, neither Morgan County nor Sunrise Beach has a K-9 Unit. The city could assist other departments, if they needed the use of the police dog.

Police officer safety
Laurie has one police officer on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department officers go off-duty at 3 a.m. and they also have one officer on duty at a time.

“The police dog is an officer, and he will be a great asset for officer safety as a ride-along,” said Chief Edwards. At the most basic level offenders know when there is no police dog on duty that is when they run.

That is when they go to ground with the officer and that is when they challenge officers with weapons.
The police dog protects handlers and covers officers.

Most officer murders occur at night and officers are attacked suddenly, often before they realize the suspect is present or observing them, fifty-percent are ambushes.

Where officers are weak, the dog is strong.
At night the K-9 sees clearly and his senses alert him to the armed suspect nobody realizes is there.
In dangerous searches, foot pursuits, assaults, and fights, the dog gives officers the edge, apprehending suspects quickly and safely.

Chief Edwards said many of the people he has spoken with in the community want a K-9 unit.
Chief Edwards will be going door to door with a petition asking citizen support.

The Laurie Board of Aldermen has requested he bring proof of community financial support to the next Laurie Board meeting scheduled Wednesday, March 14.

The petition will also be placed at area businesses. For more information or to donate toward the Laurie K-9 Unit call Chief Edwards at 573 374-4871 or email Chief Edwards at lpd301@cityoflaurie.com.