Juneau Police Department narcotics dog Buddy and handler Officer Mike Wise pose with Buddy’s new kennel, assembled with funds raised by the Juneau Crime Line. (Courtesy photo / Robin Paul)

Juneau Police Department narcotics dog Buddy and handler Officer Mike Wise pose with Buddy’s new kennel, assembled with funds raised by the Juneau Crime Line. (Courtesy photo / Robin Paul)

Juneau Crime Line helps fund police dog kennel

The police station did not previously have an “office” for the narcotics dog.

The board of the Juneau Crime Line raised funds and helped design and build a kennel, completed recently, for Buddy, the Juneau Police Department’s narcotics dog, said the president of the Crime Line board in a news release.

“Last year, Juneau Crime Line – Crime Stoppers Board Members discovered that Buddy, Juneau Police Department’s K9 dog, did not have a kennel at the Police Station,” said Robin Paul in the press release. “This meant that when Buddy was on duty and at the police station, he had to either remain in his handler’s vehicle or sit under a desk. Neither option was ideal for a working K9.”

The Crime Line decided to dedicate the proceeds from its 2019 cruise toward building a kennel, Paul said. Officer Mike Wise, Buddy’s handler, worked with Sean Huntley to design an ideal kennel for the 7-year-old German Shepherd dog, Paul said. When not at the office, Buddy lives with Wise.

[Dog licenses: They’re required, they save lives, and they’re not very popular]

“He does a very good job when he’s at work,” said JPD public safety manager Erann Kalwara in a phone interview. “He spends more time outside or in the vehicle, depending on what they’re doing.”

JPD has a special patrol vehicle that has heating and cooling for Buddy’s comfort, Kalwara said. The kennel, located in JPD’s secure vehicle yard, has space for two dogs. With Buddy getting along toward retirement age, Kalwara said, JPD is beginning to look at replacements, either overlapping Buddy’s tenure or with a short gap.

Buddy, a dedicated narcotics-sniffing dog born in Slovakia, has assisted in siezing nearly $6 million in illegal drugs during his ongoing career with JPD, Paul said. Buddy has been part of operations, working closely with the FBI, DEA, Coast Guard and other law enforcement organizations in anti-drug operations. He’s specifically trained to sniff out illegal drugs while ignoring things like marijuana, Kalwara said.

Paul thanks donations from foundations and companies like Allen Marine Tours, Don Abel Building Supply, Valley Lumber, Home Depot, and the Benito and Frances C. Gaguine Foundation as well as private citizens. Paul also thanked the volunteers who assembled the new kennel.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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