May 25, 2023

The Newberry Police Department is asking for the community’s assistance in obtaining the 2023 Aftermath K9 Grant. Through online voting, the department could be eligible to receive funding to support their K9 program of up to $2,500.

The Aftermath K9 Grant was founded to showcase, support, and reward the unique contributions made by K9 units across the country. Indirectly, the K9 Grant raises safety awareness and community kinship throughout the neighborhoods that Aftermath and their community partners serve. The grants awarded can be used toward creating or maintaining a K9 program.

To help the Newberry Police Department, community members can vote in three different ways: through an online website, or through the social media platforms of Facebook or Instagram.

Online, citizens can visit and click on the state of South Carolina. Next, manually find the Newberry Police Department or type the agency’s name in the search bar.

To vote on Facebook and Instagram, those participating need to visit @AftermathCares (Facebook) or @AftermathK9Grant (Instagram), visit their daily post, then comment with “Newberry Police Department, Newberry, SC.”

Voting, which runs from now until June 5 can be done once every 24 hours on each platform, meaning citizens can cast their vote a total of three times per day.

With the recent retirement of K9 Officer Percy, the Newberry Police Department has one K9 officer, Kira. A German Shorthaired Pointer, Kira was officially sworn in as a K9 officer with the department on March 4, 2023, and is a fully trained and certified narcotics detection dog. She is trained to alert to the odor/presence of illegal narcotics by freezing or “pointing” to the source. She and her handler, Sergeant Will Bouknight are a certified narcotics detection unit, certified through the National Narcotics Detector Dog Association (NNDDA).

Bouknight said Kira was not only trained to locate narcotics, but could be used in locating missing children, elderly, and armed subjects.

“Receiving a grant like this could mean being able to obtain items for the K9 division to assist with training, first aid, and possibly increasing the longevity of our K9 division,” Bouknight said.

Police Chief Kevin Goodman describes Kira as one of the most loving dogs and says that she will help the department in their community engagement efforts.

“The K9 unit is just another way for our department to better serve the community,” Goodman said.

More information on how to vote has been published on the City of Newberry’s social media accounts. Winners of the Aftermath K9 Grant will be announced on Wednesday, June 7.