Centier Bank recently made a $5,000 community donation to the Griffith Police Department to assist with the purchase of K-9 Unit equipment. The Griffith Police K-9 Unit is supported by community donations such as these, and the equipment is used in canine training.
The K-9 Unit is comprised of dogs who are specifically trained to assist members of law enforcement. Patrol dogs are trained in obedience, protection, and searches, in addition to tracking and criminal apprehension. The Griffith Police Department’s K-9 program, Griffith Canine, was launched in 2012 with 100% of startup costs generated by public donation. The unit provides assistance to law enforcement and fire services across Northwest Indiana and Northeastern Illinois.
Officer Kevin Strbjak said Centier’s donation will give the department the ability to purchase the latest equipment needed to train the canines’ ability to track wanted or missing persons, detect illegal narcotics and protect and defend officers in specific instances. The special K-9 Unit patrol vehicle with a pop door is the only piece of equipment provided to the unit by the police department.
“Centier's support means a lot to the K-9 unit as well as the Griffith Police Department,” Strbjak said. “We are fortunate to have this partnership so we can protect and serve our community to the best of our ability.”
Debi Gifford, Manager of Centier Bank’s Griffith Branch, said the donation is meaningful because not a lot of people know that services provided by the K-9 Unit are heavily reliant on donations.
“Community banking means that we are a true partner to all of the organizations and individuals who strive to enrich the lives of everyone in our community,” Gifford said. “The Griffith Police Department’s K-9 unit provides an invaluable service to many communities in the area, and we are proud to support their efforts.”