VCSO Recieves Funding for Police K-9
January 5, 2022
The Valley County Sheriff’s Office has received $10,460 in grant funding to obtain and train new canine units to crack down on illegal drugs being trafficked into Montana. The grant was announced recently by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, following 18 initial $10,000 grants approved by a selection committee in October, with five new agencies receiving funding and 14 receiving additional funding.
Twenty-three agencies have now been approved to receive a total of $300,000 through this program. All of the funds appropriated by the legislature for this purpose have now been dispersed.
“Montana is being flooded with dangerous drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine that come across the southern border. After their training is completed, these K9s will be an asset in helping law enforcement keep our communities safe by keeping drugs off the streets,” Attorney General Knudsen said.
Announced in August, the grant program reflects Attorney General Knudsen’s commitment to getting resources out of Helena and into the hands of local first responders and law enforcement, according to a press release.
During the 2021 Legislative Session, Knudsen secured funds in House Bill 701 for the Montana Department of Justice to administer a grant program helping law enforcement agencies purchase and train new drug detecting canines to replace those that were trained to detect marijuana after voters last year passed an initiative legalizing the drug. Representative Mike Hopkins carried the legislation implementing the initiative, while Representative Barry Usher sponsored the amendment containing the funds.
Methamphetamine and other drugs trafficked into Montana contributed to a 91 percent increase in violent crime from 2013 to 2020, Montana Board of Crime Control statistics show. Attorney General Knudsen is committed to reversing this trend and putting the Department of Justice’s focus upon public safety.