ODESSA, TX (KWES) - It's almost time to bust out your shotguns to support a good cause. The 4th annual Bustin' for Badges clay shoot is right around the corner.
The clay shoot helps local law enforcement raise money for equipment that can save lives. Odessa's K-9 unit is one of the many units that benefits from this fundraiser.
Home searches and catching a suspect is just one of the many things K-9 dogs do.
"These K-9s are utilized all the time every day on a daily basis," said Cpl. Tyler Rodgers with The Odessa Police Department's K-9 unit. "The K-9s are the first ones to actually go in and keep our officers and obviously, the citizens of Odessa safe."
Being a K-9 officer was always a goal for Cpl. Rodgers, he and his K-9 partner, Maximus, have been together for 2 years.
"Me and Maximus have a good bond, we're together 24 hours, 7 days a week," said Rodgers. "I see him more than I see my family."
Odessa Police Department's (OPD) K-9 dogs go through training every day. They learn how to find suspects, drugs and anything out of place like guns or drugs a suspect could try and toss out during a chase.
But the upkeep for the unit is not cheap. It costs the unit $15,000 every year just to get re-certifications. That doesn't include veterinarian bills or equipment.
"It's a blessing and amazing to actually have money to upkeep the gear that we use and to actually get new equipment," said Rodgers. "Technology changes every day so it's awesome to actually keep up with the technology and have the money there for whenever we need it."
OPD currently has four K-9 dog and officers teams in their unit.
If you want to fire some shells and raise some money, the deadline to enter into the clay shoot is April 25.
The actual clay shoot will be held on Friday, April 28, 2017 at Windwalker Farms in Stanton.
If you want some more information on when and where it's happening, visit http://www.bustinforbadges.org.