Kronenwetter's K9 program one step closer to continue - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Kronenwetter's K9 program one step closer to continue

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KRONENWETTER (WAOW) --  Officers never wanted to get to this point, having to replace their trusted partner, and friend. Chip, the Kronenwetter Police Department's only K9 officer.

"I wish we had more years together," Luis Lopes-Serrao, said. Lopes Serrao was Chip's handler. The two were inseparable.

"When Chip died you could see it effected him," Chief Daniel Joling said. "They did everything together. Chip went home with (Lopes-Serrao) and came to work with him."

Chip was put down last month after he contracted a serious illness. Officers say it was tough for many reasons.

"When Chip was on duty he knew, he knew it was his time to work," Chief Joling said.

Members of the village Life and Public Safety Committee have decided the program should go on.

" We recommended the village board accept donations and move forward with our K9 program," Community Development Administrator Randy Fifrick said. "It just provides the police department with a dog in house and not worry about going outside."

But it would come at a price. The program costs between 13-19 thousand dollars. And it is too late to add it to the budget. City leaders would have to dip in to savings, and hope community donations would eventually offset the cost.

"If the board approves it we will allocate the money we've saved for a rainy day I guess," Fifrick explained.

Since Chip died, Joling says community support has been overwhelming. He hopes raising the money won't be difficult.

"We've had a lot of great folks, individuals as well as organizations already contact us and are willing to donate. It's heartwarming to see that people feel the way they do," Joling said.

But nothing is certain yet. The village board will ultimately decide next week whether the program will continue.

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