K9 is First for the Department
Spencer, WI (OnFocus) Spencer Police Department’s first-ever K9 is now reporting for duty.
Ella, a 16 month-old Belgian Malinois, started her new role in June after four weeks of training in Michigan with handler, Officer Mindy Stellmach.
“It’s kind of surreal that it’s finally a thing. We raised all of the funds in eight months, which is crazy, and awesome,” said Stellmach. “I’m genuinely excited for Spencer.”
The department concluded its $60,000 fundraising campaign last fall after a successful street dance and a $10,000 donation from Land O’Lakes, which named the K9 “Ella” as a play on “mozzarella.”
“It just fits her perfectly,” Stellmach said.
The campaign paid for a new kennel-equipped squad car, officer training, and Ella herself. The K9 is trained in drug detection, apprehension, and tracking, developing her skills further at Northern Michigan K9 in May with nine other classmates. During each jam-packed day, Stellmach worked on building skills with her new companion and learned German commands.
She anticipates that as a small department, Ella’s skills will be used often. In her first few weeks on the job, the K9 has already alerted to drugs in a few vehicles, including methamphetamine.
“She loves what she does, you can tell,” Stellmach said.
Though a puppy, Ella has a calm personality and enjoys sleeping in the back of the car until jumping into action once the door opens. She also loves her tennis ball. When not working, Ella stays at home with Stellmach.
The pair will continue training for a total of 16 hours every month with other area K9 handlers. “I’m looking forward to growing as an officer and watching the K9 grow and get better at her job,” Stellmach said.
Additional fundraising for the program will take place during the 2nd annual Par 4 a Pup on August 3. Proceeds will directly benefit the K9 program, which will cost about $2,500 a year to maintain.
Four-person teams can register for $220, or $55 per golfer. Those who don’t wish to golf can RSVP for $12 to join in for lunch and raffles. Registration forms can be mailed to Spencer Police Department.