The University of Central Florida Police Department hopes to get a new dog for their K-9 unit thanks to a fundraising kickball tournament hosted by Delta Delta Delta and Sigma Chi on Tuesday evening.
“The K-9 unit decided to reach out to us because they know we’re really great at raising money for our own philanthropies,” Karis Lockhart said. “We figured, why not do it for our own police department?”
Lockhart, a Tri Delta sister, organized the kickball tournament which was comprised of 18 teams, ranging from other fraternities on campus to local businesses around UCF. They all gathered around Lake Claire and competed against each other in the name of charity. Only this fundraising opportunity will hopefully result in a new dog for UCFPD’s K-9 unit.
UCFPD currently has four full-service dogs trained with both narcotic and explosive detection. They’re looking to buy another dog for the unit, especially since one of the dogs, Max, is soon to retire. With costs averaging about $9,000, they’re grateful for all the help they can get.
Corporal Charles Reising, who is the supervisor for UCFPD’s K-9 unit, is especially thankful. He also happens to be Max’s handler. About two months ago, he asked Tri Delta at a meeting if they would be willing to help their department raise money for a new dog.
“At their next meeting they talked about it and voted on it and overwhelmingly agreed to do it,” Reising said.
Although UCFPD doesn’t have as big of a necessity for a large K-9 team like the Orange County Police Department, Reising said that they feel more secure with having their own K-9 unit so that they don’t have to rely on Orange or Seminole County Police Departments.
“If we have dogs on campus we can go deal with the situation if need be,” Reising said.
Lockhart said that before the tournament, they had raised about $2000 with corporate sponsors and local donations. She and Tri Delta are hoping that with the extra donations for food and spectator tickets to the tournament they’ll be able to reach their goal of $5000, which is a little more than half of the average $9000 cost for a K-9 dog.
“We’re just trying to give back because they keep our Greek communities so safe and the UCF community so safe,” Lockhart said. “Our big goal was to help them.”
This isn’t the first time Tri Delta has helped out UCFPD. Riesing said that Tri Delta did a fundraiser for them three years ago, but that the kickball tournament idea was new. However, that doesn’t mean it was stress-free.
“Kickball seems easy and then you start coordinating 18 teams,” Lockhart said. “It’s a lot to work with.”
Corrie Chase, a Tri Delta sister, was enthusiastic about the game.
“It’s going off really well and it creates good relations between the police department and the local community and Greek life which is something that we really want to encourage,” Chase said.
In the end, the Knight Library’s team won the tournament 1-0 against the UCF Football Team. Luckily, this loss is in favor of a new dog to help keep UCF safe.