The Payson Police Department has a K-9 on the force again thanks to one officer.
Shortly after officer Kody Anderson joined two years ago, he offered to buy a dog and train it.
On March 31, after a year of training, Loki was run through multiple evaluations and scenarios and passed. He is now a drug certified K-9 and will be put to work on calls where a drug search is needed, said Police Chief Ron Tischer.
The last time the PPD had a K-9 was in October 2019. When that officer resigned, the dog was given back to the Arizona Department of Corrections, where the PPD had received it.
Tischer said the department did not have the funds to purchase a dog and train it so he is very grateful when Anderson offered to buy Loki, a Belgian Malinois.
“He is a pretty dedicated officer who took it upon himself to get the dog trained,” he said.
Tischer hopes to add another dog to the department by hosting several fundraising events later this year.
To buy, train and outfit a police vehicle for a K-9 costs upward of $20,000.
In other PPD news
Payson Police Department officers and employees attended Narcan training on April 2 and 3. Narcan is a medication to counteract fentanyl overdose.
All officers now carry the medicine in their patrol vehicles and are trained to administer it in the event of an overdose or accidental injection.
Tischer said the department had relied on the fire department to administer Narcan. Community Bridges, Inc. (CBI) recently offered to provide Narcan to the PPD in the case PFD is not close by.
Gila County Sheriff’s Office deputies have carried Narcan for several years now.
Tischer said they continue to see fentanyl and meth overdoses in Payson on a weekly basis.
The PPD held a recruitment event on April 2 and 3 and received 12 applications.
Tischer said they are moving forward with five hoping to fill three vacancies.
He said they had hoped to receive more applications.
On March 31, officers responded to a commercial burglary alarm at Payson Property Management, 512 S. Beeline Highway.
When they arrived, no one was there, but they found signs of forced entry.
Detectives believe the sounding alarm likely scared the thief off before they could take anything.
On April 1, they arrested a suspect for the burglary.