ANKENY, Iowa-- The newest member of the Ankeny Police Department is training to come to the rescue of people in need.
Bosco is the first K-9 to join the department in 20 years. The one-year-old rescue pup came to Iowa from a shelter in Indiana. He and his handler, Officer Bret Lappin, are expected to hit the streets in January.
“He can find missing persons. He's also trained to find drugs,” said Ankeny Police Chief Gary Mikulec.
Five-year-old Tristan Sommerfeld helped welcome Bosco to the force. He wants to be a police officer when he grows up and has already learned how to give back to his community.
“My birthday, a lot of people gave me some money,” said Tristan.
“Rather than asking for gifts from friends and family, we asked for donations for the K-9 fund,” explained mom, Amber Sommerfeld.
His birthday gifts totaled $1,500. All of it was donated to the new program. To date, the city has raised about $30,000 to bring Bosco to Ankeny. The rest of the money for the K-9 unit will come from the city’s general fund and from police seizures.
“We've had some cases in the past where people have gone missing and having a dog that can track is going to be very helpful,” said Lappin.
The four year veteran of the department is ready to put Bosco’s nose to work thanks to support from the community.
Next week, Officer Lappin and his new partner will head to Omaha for training. You can follow the police dog on Instagram at Bosco_K9.