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Fulton Police Department competes to win grant

by Andrea Merritt | June 1, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Photo courtesy of Fulton Police Department Fulton Police Department Officer, Will McCaulley, with Fulton Police Department K-9, Bo, at the police department after receiving a thank you card from the Fulton Park's and Recreation department.

The Fulton Police Department K-9 unit is utilizing the public to compete in a grant contest.

The police department is participating in a K-9 grant contest hosted by Aftermath, a bio-hazard and trauma cleaning company, in which the public votes for the winner.

The winner will receive $2,500 to go towards any expenses for a police department's K-9 unit, and additional money may be given to runner-ups.

The contest is split up by area and size of police department, with Fulton in tier two of the South Central region.

Bo, the Fulton Police Department K-9 in the contest, has been with the department for less than a year. If he wins, the police department will use the grant to purchase bite sleeves, leads and tracking gloves for him, Officer Will McCaulley, Bo's handler, said.

The police department K-9 unit is "still in the building phase," McCaulley said, which is why purchasing new equipment is a top priority.

"Every facet of equipment training is needed at this point to keep him (Bo) sharp," McCaulley said.

The bite sleeves will be used for aggression control training, the leads will be used to control Bo and the tracking gloves will be used to prevent harm to McCaulley's hands when holding Bo's lead.

Voters must be at least 13 years old and can vote on the Aftermath website or by liking daily posts and commenting the police department and state participants wish to vote for on Instagram (@AftermathK9Grant) and Facebook (@AftermathCares), according to the Aftermath website. Voting ends on June 5.

Bo is a German Shepard and attended three months of training through the Boone County Sheriff's Office before coming to the department. He is trained in building, narcotic and article search, as well as general tracking.

When not at work, Bo is "goofy" and likes to play with his hamburger toy, McCaully said, however, is serious when on duty.

"But he knows when he gets his lead on it's time to work," McCaully said. "He has a noticeable personality change."

Canine's role in policing is "underutilized," McCaulley said. Bo has the ability to run faster and smell better than anyone else, he explained.

"Bo has the ability to do things that we as humans just simply cannot," McCaulley said. "He brings another level of ability to the police and to the community to help make it a safer place."

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