GALVA— The Galva Police Department’s newest officer, Lois, is set to arrive in September 2020, from the Netherlands. After a required quarantine following her international travel, Lois will spend a few months in Monmouth, Illinois, undergoing training before she officially joins the department where she will specialize in drug searches, search and rescue, and attack capabilities. Lois is the female Belgian Shepherd canine at the heart of Galva’s first K-9 unit and will partner with her handler, Officer Ian Davis, for her work assignments.
"Courts increasingly support dog alerts for drug searches and enforcement," noted Galva Mayor Rich Volkert.
With a well-developed sense of smell, trained mind, and disciplined physical abilities, K-9 teams offer an added dimension to apprehending violators and suppressing crime while also keeping officers safer by not exposing them to unnecessary dangers. Protecting citizens of all ages through search and rescue capabilities is an additional benefit provided by police dogs.
Officer and community safety are at the heart of why Community State Bank elected to provide the funding necessary to purchase Lois for the department. "Community State Bank is proud to partner with the City of Galva and its Police Department to bring Lois to our community policing efforts," said CSB President Tim Nimrick. "As evidenced by our previous drone purchase for the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, CSB is committed to officer and citizen safety and supporting the suppression of crime in our communities," added Nimrick, "and anyone who knows the people at the heart of Community State Bank knows that we also love dogs."
Purchasing Lois is only part of getting her ready to serve the community. In addition to CSB’s financial gift, city attorney Elisa Nelson also contributed funds to prepare Lois for duty. Additional supporters, including the State Bank of Toulon, are helping cover the costs of training, retrofitting a squad car with caging, preparing kennels, and the additional equipment and accessories needed to support Lois’s assignment. Several corporate programs exist to support ongoing feeding and health care costs for K-9 officers. It is estimated that Lois will pay for herself within 1-2 years from proceeds from criminal property seizures—a payback period that makes bankers smile.
In addition to some tough assignments, Lois will also have the opportunity to be the community’s dog visiting the schools and civic organizations to help forge ongoing support and cooperation for local police efforts.
"We are fortunate to live and work in a community with a strong history of supporting our officers and first responders," said Galva Police Chief Kraig Townsend. "We are thrilled that Officer Davis is committed to the relationship necessary to make Lois an active part of our service to the community."
To contribute to preparing for Lois’ arrival, contact Galva City Hall or mail contributions to Galva City Hall, P.O. Box 171, Galva, IL 61434.