K-9 units statewide compete for 'top dog'

K-9 units statewide compete for 'top dog'

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- It wasn't your average day at the dog park as the 17th annual Springfield Canine Competition hit Silke Field Saturday.

The competition featured Canine officers from police departments statewide competing in five events, like area searches, suspect apprehension and running the agility course.

Hundreds showed up for the free event. Proceeds from the sales of Springfield K-9 unit t-shirts, hats and mugs went to support the dogs.

Detective Sergeant Richard Charboneau with the Springfield Police said that the event is a great way for the K-9 unit to interact with the community. It also helped to raise awareness for the program, which is partially supported by donations.

"All of our dogs are supported through donations or the sales of our merchandise," Charboneau said. "We're trying to take ourselves off of the city's roles and support ourselves."

Charboneau said that donations have covered the equipment costs of the dogs for the past 12 years. This includes the purchase and training for the last four canines units, which costs as much as $10,000.

The Springfield Police Canine Unit celebrated its 30th anniversary last year.