TARPON SRPINGS (FOX 13) - A local businessman is helping police departments take a bite out of crime by donating dogs for K9 units.
But these aren't just any dogs. K9s typically cost around $10,000, so these donations help departments like Tarpon Springs PD focus taxpayer dollars on other important projects.
Tarpon Springs Police Officer Tommy Nguyen knows how important the help of K9s is to law enforcement. He and his partner, Dobies have a strong bond.
Dobies was named after Thomas Dobies, who owns Dobies Funeral Homes and also donates dogs to local police departments and sheriff's offices who can't afford them.
"You might say it's a lot of money, but if it will save a life of a child, senior citizen, or police officer, or community member, that's not a whole lot of money," Thomas Dobies said.
Mr. Dobies started this mission 16 years ago. Through the years he's invested more than $120,000 toward paying for K9s.
"I just think that it is so important. I'm a big strong supporter of police and fire," Mr. Dobies explained. "You know, they are such vital instruments in our community service to people."
The importance is not lost on Officer Nguyen.
"We all appreciate it. What he has done for police departments and the community," Officer Nguyen said.
Dobies is his first K9 partner and they have ben patrolling the streets the last four years. Now, they are inseparable.
"We do patrol for tracking suspects, missing kids, missing adults and we also do narcotics detection," Officer Nguyen said.
And Mr. Dobies says he's in this as long as he can afford to be.
"I continue to do until I die, and then, even after that, my trust will continue to do," Mr. Dobies said. "It's just something that gives me a good feeling."