For 40 years, the Glastonbury Police Department has gone without a K9 officer. The decades long void has caused support from the community in hopes to bring back a K9 division.
Lidija Petrus started the grassroots efforts and decided to begin making bandanas in hopes to raise money for the initiative.
Earlier this year, Glastonbury’s Police Department announced that they would be willing to bring the program back under a few conditions, according to Lt. Corey Davis.
“Chief Porter made the decision to bring the program back with the goal of funding the program with donations and not tax-payers money,” he said.
The grassroots efforts also got the attention of family owned pet supply store, Melzen’s. Co-owner Jim Melzen said that after he heard about the fundraiser, he and his brother had to get involved.
“It’s not coming to support us, it’s coming to support the town and the community,” said Melzen. “We are proud to get involved with the different causes including helping fund the K9 fundraiser.”
Since March, Officer Neal Cavanaugh and Officer Soleil have worked together through different training exercises.
Noreen Cullen is from the area and decided to purchase multiple bandanas for $6 apiece.
“We love dogs and we support our police department,” said Cullen. “It means a lot to us because we have a lot of police officers in our family.”
Debbie Raicik is a huge supporter of the police department and their efforts to protect the community.
“We do believe in supporting the community and believe it’s fairly important,” said Raicik. “I thought it was a fantastic idea and I think it’s a great fundraiser for a great cause.”
The town’s camaraderie is what’s leading to the community to flock to Melzen’s, according to Cullen.
“Dogs are hugely courageous and they love humans,” said Cullen. “They give unconditional love to humans and it’s not surprising that you’d have a K-9 with the heart and courage to be a part of the police force,” said Cullen.