Anadarko Police are rolling out their newest crime fighting tool to help with a drug problem and the violence that comes along with it.
The department is restarting its K-9 program, but there was no money to do it. That is when the community stepped up and saved the day.
Anadarko Police Officer Dustan Chandler has a new partner, Sam.
The 2-year-old German Shepard joined the force as a drug dog. He is fully trained to sniff out marijuana, cocaine, heroin and meth, which are big concerns in Anadarko.
“Right now, the biggest problem we have in Anadarko is drugs, so I'm hoping just to get the drugs off the streets for now,” Officer Chandler said.
Anadarko leaders knew they needed a K-9 to fight drug trafficking, but had no money to pay for it other than seeking out government grants.
“Those take months and we wanted something that took weeks,” Anadarko Police Chief Jason Smith told News 9.
The community stepped in to help out.
So many business and individual donations came in that police raised the entire $3,400 for Sam and his training in one week.
“I went to the community with the plea of help us get this started and they answered resoundingly,” Chief Smith beamed.
The Perry Police Department even donated equipment to outfit Chandler's car for Sam.
Sam is a friendly dog; he does not bite because the police chief wanted him to also be a community liaison.
“A lot of people like it, I went to the high school and walked in the gym and everyone was running up here and petting him,” Chandler explained.
Chandler still has to be trained to be a handler in a 49-hour class and said he cannot wait to start working with Sam.
“We like the support from the community and all the donations that we've received, it actually shows that they really care and they're trying to help us better the community,” Chandler said.
Officer Chandler goes to training on Monday and if everything goes well with his certification, he could be patrolling with Sam by the end of next week.
An Anadarko restaurant called Joe's Burgers has now started a fundraiser to buy Sam a $1,500 bullet-proof vest.
There’s an online fundraising page if people outside of Anadarko would like to help, click here.