WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Anonymous donors paid $4,000 to the Waterloo Police Department so an officer can keep a police dog after he leaves the force due to health reasons.
The Waterloo City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to give officer Tyler Brownell ownership of K-9 Jason, a Belgian Malinois who has been with the police force since 2014, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported .
Brownell is an Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's been with the Waterloo Police Department since 2009, but is dealing with health issues that will likely end his law enforcement career.
Police Chief Dan Trelka said the city typically donates dogs to their handlers at the end of a dog's service. However, Jason was only halfway through his career and had an estimated value of $4,000.
Trelka said that while Brownell had offered to give the department's K-9 program $4,000, two donors privately contributed the money.
"This gift is a token of appreciation for the service Officer Brownell has rendered to the city of Waterloo," Trelka said. "We are pleased these partners will be able to stay together."
Trelka wrote a memo to City Council members that it would take time and money to place Jason with another officer. The memo said it would instead be easier to adopt a new dog to train with another officer.
The city has three certified dogs in the K-9 program.
"The K-9 lives full-time with the handler and their family," said officer Andy Clark. "Jason has become a part of Tyler's family."
Mayor Quentin Hart said the donations that allowed Brownell to keep Jason are acts of generosity and kindness that make him proud of the city.
Jason will now act as a service dog for Brownell.