To the community, friends, and family of the Marshalltown Police Department:
I would like to extend a heartfelt and gracious, “thank you!” Without your support and contributions my new K9 partner Raji would not be a reality. To introduce myself, I am Officer Eric Siemens. I was born and raised here in Marshalltown, attended college at Iowa State University and two years ago, was given the opportunity by the Marshalltown Police Department to give back to the community that has given so much to me.
Recently, the police department held an internal application process for officers interested in becoming the next K9 Handler. After a lengthy process of interviews and competing with some of the best officers in the department I was lucky enough to be selected for the position of K9 Handler. Since mid November I have worked closely with Sergeant Melinda Ruopp, our current K9 handler and supervisor, on raising money and putting on demonstrations for the public. Through these events I have seen the kindness and generosity of the community in many ways. The MPD K9 unit is gracious for the donation of materials, the use of spaces and buildings and every penny, nickel and dime we receive!
The newest addition to the MPD K9 unit is K9 Raji. For all the Green Bay Packer fans out there, Raji’s name does come from defensive lineman B.J. Raji. The thought process behind it was that he is as powerful as a defensive lineman, but faster then a defensive back. Raji comes from the country of Slovakia and was originally named Kamil. Raji’s mother is a Belgian Malinois and his father is a German Shepherd. Raji and I will attend training this March in St. Paul, MN and return to Marshalltown in May. We are both excited to attend training and get back to the task at hand by providing safer streets for the community of Marshalltown and the surrounding area.
Our City Council and City Administrator are looking to allocate funding for the MPD K9 Unit to furnish a fully outfitted vehicle for our next K9 handler. As many of you may know, our current K9 Awol has a degenerative muscle disease in his back legs. He has soldiered on for our department for a year and a half longer then veterinarians believed he would be able too. However, his retirement is on the horizon and another K9 and handler will be chosen to replace the team of Sergeant Ruopp and K9 Awol. Obtaining training and equipping a new handler is very expensive and your generous donations of any kind are always welcome. Again the MPD K9 Unit would like to say “thank you” to the Marshalltown community and surrounding area. Without your help none of this would be possible.
If you would like to make a donation to the MPD K9 Unit it can be mailed or delivered to the Marshalltown Police Department, 22 North Center Street, Marshalltown, IA. Please note “K9 Unit” on the memo of any check donations. These donations may be tax deducted.
Thank you from MPD K9 Unit,
Sergeant Melinda Ruopp and K9 Awol
Officer Eric Siemens and K9 Raji