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Community group helps add another police pooch to Claremont ranks

 

The Claremont Police Department is looking to add a second police pooch to its ranks, and a local group is stepping in to help.

At a gathering held last Saturday, Keeping Good in the Neighborhood (KGNH)—a community watch group serving a portion of the north Claremont community—announced it will give its 2013 donations to the Claremont police force’s K-9 fund. Police personnel, KGNH neighbors and their 4-legged companions gathered in the shade of Higginbotham Park for the announcement.

To date, KGNH has donated more than $8000 to local charities and organizations. This year’s proceeds will be used toward purchasing a dual-purpose K-9, trained for both patrol, drug detection and hopefully tracking, added Detective Robert Ewing of the Claremont Police Officers Association. The CPOA looks to add to the police force’s one-dog K-9 team, currently composed of Dodger, a one-year-old British lab that joined the force at the beginning of the year.

Adding Dodger to the Claremont police team was a costly venture, nearly $10,000, funded by grant money and community donations. A second dog would likely cost the same amount, according to Det. Ewing, thankful for the watch group’s pledged support.

“[KGNH] already gives back to the neighborhood quite a bit. It’s great that we can partner with them to continue make the city a safer place,” Det. Ewing said.

Some neighbors first came together over hot dogs and potato salad at a neighborhood potluck 6 years ago. Betty Crocker turned chitchat over neighborhood crime into action with the formation of KGNH. In partnership with the Claremont Police Department, the community watch group encourages residents to build relations and have a hand in keeping neighborhoods safe.

KGNH continues to promote its cause with an annual street fair, this year to be held on September 7. They’ve long surpassed the simple potluck staples, expanding their celebration to include food trucks, live music and a classic car show. Keeping the momentum going, KGNH expanded in its third year to include a raffle with proceeds benefiting a local group, chosen by KGNH neighbors. Previously sponsored groups include the Inland Valley Humane Society, the Claremont High School Theatre Project and The Be Perfect Foundation. With this year’s beneficiary, the Claremont Police Department, KGNH’s efforts go back to the organization’s roots.

“CPD has been our number-one partner, hands down. From the chief on down to calling dispatch, they are so incredibly available for anything we need whether it’s us calling or them,” said Ms. Crocker. “It’s great that we can give back to them in a meaningful way.”

KGNH continues to look for ways to extend its reach, this time by helping other Claremont residents get their own community watch group started. A KGNH-sponsored leadership summit and breakfast will take place on Saturday, June 8 from 9 to 11 a.m. at 2200 Villa Maria Rd., Claremont. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP to therealbetty@aol.com. For more on KGNH, visit www.KGNH.net.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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