Mayo Clinic Health Systems presented a donation to the Monroe County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit this afternoon.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s department and members of the May Clinic Health Systems gathered at 112 south court street in Sparta, just outside the Monroe County Courthouse. Rodney Erickson, a family physician from the Tomah Mayo Clinic Health Systems delivered the fifteen hundred dollar check to the Monroe County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit.
Dr. Erickson has done extensive work related to the opioid crisis within health care. The donation will help support the implementation of a second K-9 team. Deputy Michael Geier of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department says, "Our canines are probably our best tool against the drug problem we have. Finding the drugs in cars is where the drug users or dealers are the most vulnerable. That gives us the opportunity to find those drugs on the side of the road versus the big complicated process of a search warrant."
The new K-9 member will be used for more than just locating drugs. Deputy Geier says, "The dog will be a dual purpose dog, which means they can find drugs in just about any venue, but it can also locate items contaminated with human odor or locate humans, or apprehend suspects if we have to.
The fifteen hundred dollars will help pay for the dog itself, the training, and an insert for the K-9 car that includes a heat monitoring system to keep the dog comfortable. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department says this donation and their relationship with Mayo is refreshing and a bond they want to continue to strengthen.