The Skutumpah Committee of the Friends of NRA is hosting its 2010 Fundraising Banquet and Auction on June 5, 2010, at Kanab Middle School. Please join us to support this worthwhile event! Doors will open at 5 p.m. Proceeds from this effort benefit our entire community in the form of awarded grants. They support state and national programs as well.

Dinner tickets are $30 each, with catering by Houston’s Trails End. Tickets are available from Adam Rogers-Cedar Post Trading Company; Grant Ramsay-White Mountain Trading Post; Alicia Hatch-Muley Crazy Magazine; Neil Adair; Dathan Chamberlain; Don Kramer; Lenny Domyan; Dave Ferguson-Trap and Skeet Club; Pamela Ence-Loose Wheels Service; Andre Oeland-Tod’s Country Store; or from Jennifer Oeland.

With the complete support of our community for the 2008 Friends of NRA Banquet, two grants were approved for the Kanab area! This is the first of two articles in which we will provide details of the grants that our entire community has helped to earn:

It’s often said, dog is man’s best friend. In the case of a police K-9 service dog and its handler, it could not be stated any more accurately. They spend more time together than the handler does his own family.

In February 2008, a Kane County Deputy, Ted Barnard, lost his K9 partner, Tazz, to a sudden illness. This was a tremendous loss to the community because K-9 teams improve the ability of the Sheriff’s Office to provide search and rescue action, solve crimes by identifying and recovering items used in the commission of crimes, track and capture hostile or fleeing criminals, safely search people, vehicles and buildings for illegal narcotics and assist with high-risk search warrant services. They ultimately protect the quality of life and support the well-being, safety and security of all people within the community, not just their officer partner’s life, on a daily basis.

One week later, the deputy received a phone call from Kanab area Friends of NRA Skutumpah Committee member Jennifer Oeland, who was eager to assist the Kane County Sheriff’s Office to replace their K-9 service dog.

Two problems facing KCSO were quickly identified. The first problem was the replacement of the recently lost K-9 service dog, and the second problem was the need for a second K-9 service dog. Kane County has had just one K-9 team for the last five years. With the large size of the county and its continuing growth, as well as the influx in drug trafficking, it has been incredibly overwhelming for just one team.

Oeland did some research into the Friends of NRA Foundation grant request submission deadlines and restrictions. Oeland, KCSO Deputy Chief Tracy Glover and Deputy Ted Barnard structured a grant request for submission by Kane County Sheriff’s Office to the Friends of NRA to assist in the purchasing a second service dog for the agency. Other financial avenues and donations were pursued to replace the first lost service dog who would work with Deputy Barnard.

Due to the determined efforts of Skutumpah Committee FNRA Chairman Robert Helms and Co-Chairman Frank Alleman, the Friends of NRA grant request was approved for partial funding by the State Grant Committee! After additional effort on the part of the KCSO to arrange for the remaining funding, on July 22, 2009, the Kane County Sheriff’s Office purchased a beautiful 18-month Belgian Malinois, Gonzo, from a vendor in San Antonio, Texas. Three qualified trainers drove nearly 2,500 miles round trip and over 40 hours to test numerous dogs imported from Europe and Mexico. After several hours of testing, a dog with all of the traits and unique personality to fit the agency was selected.

His new handler is Deputy Marvin Hoyt who has worked for the Sheriff’s Office for five years. In December 2009, the K-9 team of Deputy Hoyt and Gonzo were certified as a narcotics team. Just days later they made their first find! They received word a suspect had heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine in his possession and had brought it into the area to be used and distributed. Upon locating the suspect, a search of the vehicle was conducted and narcotics were located by the service dog. This was just the first instance of what will surely be many great successes for this new team!

The Kane County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all its K-9 team supporters and the Friends of NRA for its very generous contribution and its continued dedication to the community and local law enforcement.