PEKIN, Ill. - A local police canine is in the running to be top dog. Pekin Police Department's K9 Officer, Ahen, leads a nationwide competition with more than 250,000 votes.
Ahen took second place in the Aftermath Canine Grant competition last year, losing by only a couple hundred votes. So, of course, he's hoping to come out on top this year.
The first place winner gets $5,000. The department says that money would help fund the K9 Unit, helping keep the dog safe as he works to keep the officer and citizens of Pekin safe.
"It can help fund another dog. Dogs are kind of hard on their equipment, they run around run into stuff all the time. It's one of those things that if we can get the grant money to help supplement we have the ability to keep the dog safe, keep us safe, and help the citizens of Pekin." Officer Rob Jones says.
Although the department says the money would be nice, it's thrilled to see the community's excitement and support.
"We have businesses that love the dog in the city, we have citizens that adore the dog, and that's nice because we want to keep our PD very community-oriented. We want the community to have input on what we do, what we say, how we treat people, and we want to make sure the community knows we're working for them. We serve them and we try to give them the best service we can give them." Officer Jones explains.
Ahen is also garnering attention and gaining popularity outside of Pekin.
"It's not just the city of Pekin. The city of Pekin has helped tenfold, all the citizens, all the great people that have turned out to vote, but it's actually nationwide. On our Facebook page, if you look, we have people from Texas from Florida all over the country voting and making sure we try to stay in the top position." Officer Jones says.
The competition ends on Tuesday. You can still cast your vote for Ahen by clicking here.
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