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Steps closer to taking ‘bite’ out of crime

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Pastor Troy Smothermon of Church of the Move, front row, far right, presents a check for $10,000 to Roswell Chief of Police Philip Smith, center. The money will go toward a K9 unit for the Roswell Police Department. Also pictured, front row, from left, are Deputy City Manager Mike Matthews and Mayor Dennis Kintigh. (Christina Stock Photo)

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Donation will help re-establish K9 unit within RPD

The Roswell Police Department announced in October that they needed help from the community to re-establish a K9 unit within the department. The funding for the startup program ideally would be through donations because the department’s funds have been tied to other projects.

The request, at the time, was to get enough public input, online, to win a competition for a K9 program grant of $5,000. Unfortunately, Roswell didn’t win.

But on March 4, Church on the Move Pastor Troy Smothermon arrived at the Roswell Police Department to bring the RPD good news — in the form of a check for $10,000.

“We thank all the other people who have donated to this cause to help you out and us to eliminate some of the drug issues that we have in our community,” Smothermon said, addressing Roswell Chief of Police Philip Smith. “We just want to thank you for all you do, and this is just on behalf of our church to bless you and thank you.”

Smith thanked Smothermon and the congregation.

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“It will be used wisely and hopefully it will take a bite out of our biggest problem here in Roswell — our drug problem — with a couple of K9s for drug detection,” he said.

Smith explained that the K9s will also serve as search dogs if a child or adult is lost.

“It’s a good thing all around,” Smith said. “We did have great support, we need more.”

According to an RPD press release, two trained and certified K9s, two trained and certified handlers — who will be selected from within the department — and modifications to two RPD vehicles will cost in total $35,000.

Mayor Dennis Kintigh and Deputy City Manager Mike Mathews represented the city of Roswell. Kintigh expressed his gratitude, and added that there were many needs left.

Smotherman said his dream is that the church and its members would be able to help with some of the future projects.

RPD is accepting donations in the form of check, money order or cashier’s check designating for RPD K9. Donations can be brought to RPD, 128 W. Second St., and given to Capt. Mike Taylor, Deputy Chief Mike Stanton or Chief Phil Smith.

Another donation sight is City Hall, 425 N. Richardson Ave., in the administration office.

To donate tax-deductible, send to Altrusa International Foundation of Roswell, P.O. Box 413, Roswell, NM 88202-0413.

For more information about Altrusa, email altrusa.roswell.foundation@gmail.com.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.

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