The Turlock Police Department welcomed their newest member on Thursday with the addition of Ace, a 19-month-old Malinois canine.
Ace’s addition to the Turlock Police Department was brought about by a donation from the Tri County Blue Line Alliance, which covered the majority of the purchase cost — $7,500 — from Top Dog Police K9 Training & Consulting, LLC, in Modesto. The remaining cost of $1,669.38 was covered by restructuring the police department’s budget, so no additional fiscal impacts were incurred by the City of Turlock.
“I want to thank our mayor and Tri County Blue Line Alliance for all the work they have done since January  to get us this dog,” said Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar.
Ace will be working and living with Turlock Police Officer Marco Diaz. The duo will be getting to know one another and then head off to school in June.
"He's a big loveable dog and has a really good work ethic," Diaz said of his new partner. "Besides helping me protect and serve, he helps strengthen that bond between the community and the police department. He's a great conversation starter and makes me seem more approachable."
The addition of Ace comes after the police department lost K9 Varick to cancer in November 2019. Ace will be joining Keyser, a male black German Shepherd who is partnered with Turlock Police Officer Queray McMihelk.
Tri County Blue Line Alliance is a non-profit organization that aims to help the families of fallen law enforcement officers. They also raise awareness and improve mental and physical fitness for all first responders. The organization is always available to help families with funerals and fundraising events, so when the opportunity arose to do something with a happier angle, they jumped at the chance.
"This was an opportunity to do something good in a whole new outlet," said Shelly Koch, the organization's co-founder and executive board member. "It's been an honor and a pleasure to be a part of this."
The police department hopes to continue working with Tri County Blue Line Alliance and the community to fund a third K9 by the end of 2021.
Individuals wishing to donate to the K9 program can contact Lt. Steve Rodrigues at email@example.com or call (209) 656-3154.