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Posted on: March 1, 2023

Marshalltown Police Department Announces K9 Fundraising Effort

Raji-Dog Photo

The Marshalltown Police Department is looking for the public’s assistance in replacing one of their most powerful crime fighting tools. Our K9 Unit assists with everything from finding drugs to finding felons. The department is currently faced with having to raise money to replace a police service dog.    

The MPD has a long history of police canines, starting with K9 Lugar back in the early 80’s. K9 Lugar was handled by Sgt. John Ruopp. K9 Monty came on board in the 90’s handled by Officer Randy Kessler, followed by K9 J.R. handled by Sgt. Melinda Ruopp. Captain Chris Jones handled K9 Marco and was joined by Sgt. Melinda Ruopp with K9 Awol in 2007. K9 Creasy started in 2009, handled by Captain Kiel Stevenson.  K9 Raji joined the team in 2013, also handled by Captain Stevenson.  In 2014, K9 Jordy hit the streets with Sergeant Tom Watson. Our newest addition is K9 Atlas, handled by Officer Nick Svoboda.  K9 Atlas joined the department in 2021.

K9 Raji and K9 Jordy both retired at the beginning of 2021. Both police service dogs had long and distinguished careers and now enjoy retirement at home with their respective families.  K9 Raji and K9 Jordy teamed up to keep Marshalltown safe for many years. They were each responsible for locating multiple criminal suspects, drugs, drug proceeds, and other evidence. K9 Raji and K9 Jordy each received multiple awards during patrol and drug detection certification competitions.

Raji Police Dog Photo

After the retirement of K9 Raji and K9 Jordy, MPD replaced one of those positions with K9 Atlas. This current fundraising effort will help replace the second K9 position within the department. MPD acquires their police service dogs from a vendor in Minnesota. These special dogs are highly skilled and bred specifically for the demands of police work. They come from overseas and have multiple generations of police work in their DNA. The dogs are generally between 10-12 months old when they are shipped to the United States. The new handler will have the opportunity to pick up their new partner prior to the start of basic training. This allows the handler and K9 to bond and get comfortable together.

The department has set a goal to raise $30,000. This amount will help us to continue to fund the police K9 program here at the Marshalltown Police Department, including buying the new K9, paying for specialized training, purchasing equipment, and covering additional expenses.

We are seeking assistance from the public. The Marshalltown community has been a proud supporter and partner of the K9 unit in the past. We hope that the citizens and organizations of our community can help us again.  We cannot do this without you. Thank you in advance for your support of the Marshalltown Police Department K9 Unit.   

Quote from Chief of Police, Michael Tupper:

"The Marshalltown Police Department has a long history of police canines serving in our community, starting with K9 Lugar back in the early 1980’s. Our police dogs have assisted with everything from finding drugs and dangerous criminals, to promoting community relationships and helping with education programs. The MPD police dog program has been largely community supported for most of its existence. We need your help again. This program is critically important to our daily efforts to serve and protect our community. Your support is appreciated and means a great deal to us. We cannot maintain this program without you."

Police Dog and Handler

For more information, please contact Captain Kiel Stevenson at 641-844-1802 or

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