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Aspiring police officer raises money for K-9 twice in 3 years

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) – For the second time in three years, an aspiring police officer and local student raised enough money for police to get a new K-9 officer.

Dylan Prather’s latest fundraiser benefits the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office. He organized his first fundraiser in 2013 for the Columbus Police Department.

For a high school project, Prather spoke with the Columbus Republic newspaper to spread the word about CPD’s need for a new dog. He raised nearly $10,000  through donations and the department purchased Max, a dog they still use today.

“Max is a great dog,” Prather said. “Personally, he’s close to me. He’s probably one of the best police dogs I’ve seen.”

Prather is now a business student at IUPUC. A county deputy told Dylan the sheriff’s department needs a new dog.

The student spread the word online, talked to the paper again, and even helped distribute flyers asking for donations.

“There was definitely some doubt and I never thought it would happen again as quickly as it did this time,” Prather said.

After less than two weeks of fundraising, a local company called Real World Testing gave Prather a check for $18,000. The check covers the cost of a new dog and training.

“I can’t even explain the emotions that I felt when it happened,” Prather said. “It was so rewarding and so awesome to see it happen.”

Trainers will teach the dog to find drugs and chase suspects. Sheriff Matt Myers’ office already owns one K-9. According to Prather, they need another to fight back against the county’s drug problem.

Columbus Police have thanked Prather repeatedly for his 2013 fundraiser.  Max helped in more than two dozen investigations just this summer, according to CPD.

The sheriff’s office is still looking for the perfect dog, but they already found the handler. Deputy Matt Bush will start training this fall.

“I’m super excited. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while,” Bush said. ‘We’re going to be getting [drugs] off the streets before it even gets to the community with the dog.”

Prather said he plans to join Indiana University’s police academy in May of 2017. He already works as a county 911 operator.

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