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Natchez Police Department to get new K9 officer soon

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Police Department will soon have its first K9 officer since their previous K9, Arko, died in September at the age of 14.

Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said one of his officers is in week two of a five-week training program in Louisiana with the new K9 and both should be home and ready for duty toward the end of the month.

“They’ll start to work together and once they finish up in the next three weeks,” Armstrong said. “… We’re certainly looking forward to it. We’ve been without a K9 for several months and we once had two.”

Ideally the department would have two K9s two work alternate shifts, Armstrong said, adding donations are still being accepted at the Natchez Police Department for a second K9.

Armstrong said an Arkansas couple donated approximately $16,300 that would completely fund the cost of one K9 and training after they learned about the department’s need during the Super Retriever Series Crown Championship — a competitive event for various dog breeds that took place in on the Natchez bluff in September.

Between $11,000 and $12,000 is still needed to purchase and train a second dog, Armstrong said.

During last week’s meeting of the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen, Armstrong advised that he would later need a second vehicle to transport both K9s as well.

Armstrong said the board agreed last year to purchase one vehicle through funding from the land lease for the Magnolia Bluff’s Casino and that vehicle had not been purchased yet.

“We need the balance of the funds that we’ve raised to get a second K9 and we will also be needing money to be getting a K9 vehicle to transport those two K9s,” he said.

Donations for a K9 can be dropped off or mailed to the Natchez Police Department at 233 D’Evereux Drive, Armstrong said.