The Lynnwood Police Department greeted Alderwood Mall shoppers Saturday afternoon while holding a fundraiser to support its four-legged members.
Officers were posted between Anthony’s Seafood Grill and Claim Jumper, handing out stuffed police K-9 toys and seeking donations to support the department’s K-9 unit.
The department raised $4,000 during the event, which K-9 Sergeant Jake Shorthill said will go toward training and equipment for the unit. According to Shorthill, these funds be used to purchase pseudo narcotics for narcotics detection training — and provide protective gear for dogs.
The fundraising for Lynnwood’s police K-9 program is done through a nonprofit, said police spokesperson Joanna Small. “The city supports a very robust K-9 unit,” she said. “So, the (donated) fund is there only to supplement.”
Donation funds have also been used to purchase police dogs, including the department’s newest K-9 Chase.
Shorthill said the department typically raises funds at community events like Cops and Kids held in June and the Fair on 44th in September. However with those events canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the department decided to hold the Saturday event.
Around 250 stuffed dogs were handed out to kids, and Shorthill said the number of people stopping by was higher than he expected.
“This has actually blown my expectations out of the water,” he said. “The turnout has been amazing.”
–Photos by Cody Sexton