INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With Indy crime rate top of mind, Indianapolis metropolitan police are looking to take their K-9 training to the next level.
To do that, IMPD needs your help in getting a new K-9 training facility.
The current building, located at 1147 Madison Avenue, is shared with the Park Rangers and was built in 1941.
News 8 caught up with Officer William Amberger as he was working with his 5-year-old black lab, Turbo.
Turbo specializes in sniffing out bombs.
His training went well on Monday, but the police dogs aren’t the issue — it’s the small building that police say the dogs know like the back of their nose.
“When you can mix it up and give a better variety, you can better prepare these dogs for that,” said Amberger.
The Madison Avenue training building measures only 3,200 square feet and is right next to a busy street.
With 24 K-9 units on the police force, Officer Molly Groce says a building that small and in that dangerous of a location can be a problem.
“We don’t have a fenced-in area for the dogs to go out when we just need to take them outside. So we will typically sometimes use even just the parking lot over there to do some of our training in,” said Groce.
IMPD K9s have been training in the nearly 80-year-old facility for the past seven years.
IMPD needs to raise $600,000 to buy a new facility, which will be located downtown.
“The community support is huge. The city budget is really tight. So a lot of our dogs are purchased because we have generous donors in Indianapolis that want to see these dogs work. That’s how we function as a unit, so it’s hugely important,” said Groce.
With IMPD having one of the biggest K-9 units in the country, providing the best training possible is pivotal when it comes to fighting crime on the streets.
“It really is amazing and impressive what they can do and a top good training facility can take them to another level, I have no doubt about that,” said Amberger.
If you give $25 or more, you can get a K-9 stuffed animal of your very own.
To donate, visit the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department K9 Association Facebook page or click here.