Vacaville Residents Raise Money for Police K-9 Unit

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VACAVILLE --

There were some very tense moments for families along Buck Avenue last month, as police searched for a wanted suspect.

"One of the guys being interviewed jumped right over this fence and went right through our courtyard," resident Bob Morales said. "There was between 10 and 15 policemen here. Every other intersection was blocked off."

And police ordered neighbors to lock up and stay indoors.

After hopping the fence at the Morales residence, the suspect made his way onto the side and front yards before he ran across the street.

Officers searched for nearly two hours before they discovered he was hidden up a tree just across from the Morales home.

"Had they had a K9 unit, it would've been 10 seconds," Morales said.

But there wasn't a dog available. The reason: the Vacaville Police K-9 Unit is short by two dogs.

Right now, there are three K-9 officers, two cross-trained to sniff out suspects and drugs, the other used solely for drug detection.

"It keeps us safer. It keeps our community safer by having a stronger K-9 unit," Morales' wife, Lucia, said.

Aside from donating privately to the unit, Lucia wanted to do more.

So 10 days ago, she began a GoFundMe account, open to everyone, with the goal of raising money toward purchasing another police dog and for additional costs of the unit.

"We can't just say 'Oh, it's up to the police department, the city to do this.' We need to all participate as citizens," she said.

"What makes me feel better, that there's a K-9 unit, is that the officers are safer," her husband added.

In just 10 days, Vacaville residents have raised nearly $2,000.

The cost for one canine is around $10,000.

"I was really taken aback," K-9 Handler Frank Piro said, as Roscoe sat by his side. "It's just a prime example of our community getting involved just to make sure that this community stays the safe place that it is."

"I grew up here. Vacaville is probably one of the nicest communities in the United States, and that's the truth," Lucia said.

GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/24j24cp8