Police department receives donation

The first donation toward the cost of a new K-9 unit for the East Liverpool Police Department was made by (from left) Donny Lytle and Josh Lytle of Family Care Ministries to Patrolman Chris Green and (far right) Chief John Lane. Green has been tapped as the K-9 handler. (Photo by Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert)

EAST LIVERPOOL — With a $1,000 donation from Family Care Ministries getting the ball rolling, a fund-raising campaign for a second K-9 unit has been started by the East Liverpool Police Department.

Patrolman Chris Green will serve as the handler for the K-9 team, and he expects to be at Shallow Creek Kennels in May to choose his new canine partner.

Classes begin June 25, and Green’s plans are to be in that class, completing it by August, when he and his partner will be on the street, alongside the department’s current K-9 team Patrolman Chad Tatgenhorst and Ivo.

“The game plan is to have a K-9 available all the time,” Green said, saying with the addition of a K-9 in St. Clair, this will mean four teams available between the two departments.

There are no plans to retire Ivo at this time, according to Chief John Lane, who said he and Tatgenhorst have been working together for five years.

The department’s goal is $30,000, with about $13,000 of that earmarked for the canine itself and the remainder for the specially-equipped cruiser, veterinarian care, food and other expenses.

Fund raisers, including a dog walk and T-shirt sales, are being planned, and Green said a GoFundMe account is being set up, but donations from individuals, businesses and organizations are welcome.

“Even $5 would help,” Green said.

While the city’s finance committee has already been approached about appropriating money for the K-9 cruiser, a used vehicle, Green said, “Ideally, we want to reimburse the city for the cruiser.”

In presenting the donation to Lane and Green this week, Donny Lytle, founder of Family Care Ministries, said, “We hope this will be a good kickoff for you. We’re honored to do it for you guys.”

His son, Josh Lytle, vice president of Family Care, said, “Our prayer is it will spark other donations from the community. This is important.”

Anyone interested in donating can bring donations to the police department located in the basement of City Hall, or send them to ELPD at: 126 W. Sixth St., East Liverpool, OH 43920.