Meet Bosco - Ankeny's New K-9
Bosco was welcomed to the Ankeny Police force on Nov. 24. He is specially trained for tracking missing persons and narcotics detection. Bosco's handler is four-year veteran Officer Bret Lappin.
Last September, the Ankeny Police Department launched a crowdfunding campaign to help raise money for a new K-9 unit. The community embraced the project and exceeded the initial goal of $20,000 set by Ankeny City Council. Nearly $30,000 has been donated in cash and in-kind gifts. Fifty private individuals made cash donations, as well as cash and in-kind support from local businesses including: Ankeny Citizen's Police Academy, Brown Dog Bakery, John Deere & Company, Sam's Club, Walmart, and the Wellmark Foundation. Tristan's Troops, led by Tristan Sommerfeld who is a 5 year-old Ankeny resident, arranged his own fundraiser on behalf of the Police Department and raised $1,500 for the K-9 project.
The cost to start-up the new K-9 program is $70,000. Ankeny City Council set a private donation benchmark of $20,000 that had to be met before general fund and police seizure money could be accessed to move the program forward. All funds raised over the benchmark helped offset the use of the general fund and seizure money.
Bosco spent several weeks training with his new handler, Officer Lappin. Currently he is certified in narcotics detection. In the spring he will finish his training to be certified in tracking.
Bosco and Officer Lapping began patrol in Ankeny in December. The community is invited to follow Bosco's adventures as an Ankeny Police Dog on Instagram, his user name is Bosco_K9.
Bosco is a rescue dog from a shelter in Syracuse, Indiana, where he was picked up as a stray puppy. A trainer at the shelter identified Bosco for having exceptional tracking abilities and alerted a K-9 trainer from Omaha. Bosco was then taken to Omaha and began training to be the tracking dog he is today. It's likely that Bosco's rescue and work assignment in Ankeny saved his life.