Sturtevant police Officer Kim Gall understands why there’s some doubt in the community about why the small department needs a K9 but says in a village the size of Sturtevant, having a K9 officer team makes all the sense in the world.
“Sturtevant is small, but a lot of people come through here between the city and I-94,” she said. “We’ve had some bigger cases in the village so you can’t tell me crime doesn’t happen here.”
Gall pointed specifically to the armed robbery Easter Sunday of the Durand Express Mart as a prime example of how a K9 could come in handy.
“If we had a K9, we could have tracked that suspect and possibly made an arrest,” she said.
Police Chief Sean Marschke agreed.
“A K9 to track the suspect that fled on foot would have been very beneficial,” he said. “A police K9 is an excellent tool that makes our job as law enforcement officers safer.”
Asking for a K9 from another agency to respond to the scene wasn’t possible because there wasn’t one on duty. Gall said a Sturtevant K9 would also be available to neighboring communities, which is another benefit.
“Talk about adding a K9 has been going around for a while, and I’ve always wanted to be a K9 officer so I said I would do it,” she added. “K9s have been proven to be so beneficial and not just for their own department but for others, too.”
Gall started a GoFundMe page to raise the necessary funds to pay for a dog and their training, which together can run north of $25,000. Dogs in Mount Pleasant, the City of Racine and the Racine County Sheriff’s Department have been purchased and trained primarily with private donations from individuals and fundraising events.
If Sturtevant does get a K9, the costs will not be paid with taxpayer dollars, Marschke confirmed.
Gall was recently trained in evidence collection and is also trained to participate in the Internet Crimes Against Children and Human Trafficking task forces. She said she is anxious to go through as many training programs as she can.
“I will do anything, any training … anything to learn,” she continued.
Marschke noted Gall’s enthusiasm for her job.
“Kim Gall is a very proactive police officer,” he said. “She has been very involved in sensitive crime investigations, serves on the countywide sexual assault task force, the Greater Racine Human Trafficking Task Force as well as obtaining her certification as an evidence technician.”
Gall loves being a police officer and said she never thought about another career. She doesn’t come from a traditional “cop” family; her dad wanted to be a Chicago police officer but started his family young so instead he had a career as an insurance fraud investigator. Gall’s twin sister is working on her master’s degree in clinical psychology.
“The family joke is that I’ll catch ’em and she’ll treat ’em,” she said with a laugh. “This is all I’ve ever wanted to do, so I’m hoping we can raise the money for the dog and our training.”