The relationship between an officer and his K9 partner is just as strong as that of one between two cops. They ride together, protect each other, work each day side-by-side. It's a bond that is hard to break, dare I say unbreakable.
Waterloo police officer Tyler Brownell has been a cop since 2009, and for the last three years he has worked hand-in-paw with his K9 partner, Jason. Recently, Officer Brownell was hit with some bad news; a medical condition was going to force him into early retirement. As tough as finding out that he had to leave the job he had loved and given so much for, the thought of losing one of his best friends was even harder.
Because of the bond that Officer Brownell had formed with Jason over the last three years, last Monday before the Waterloo City Council, he asked if he would be able to purchase Jason so that he would never have to be separated from him. The department had appraised Jason's current value at roughly $4 thousand, a cost that Brownell was more than happy to pay.
The city council voted unanimously to accept Brownell's request, he would be allowed to pay the $4K and take Jason home with him permanently. If that isn't a feel good ending to an unfortunate series of events I don't know what is. But it gets better. Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka said that they had already received enough in private donations so that Officer Brownell wouldn't have to pay a penny out of his own pocket in order to bring Jason home.
"Anybody who's had any pet will understand that bond," said Trelka. "I mean that pet becomes a part of your family."
Though Jason was currently appraised for $4 thousand, the average cost of purchasing and training a new canine officer for the Waterloo Police Department is around $10 thousand, which they pay by using private donations.