Although for the K-9 unit in Chesterfield Township, community officials can't guarantee the unit's existence.
"The cruise is great for the people of Chesterfield," township Supervisor Michael Lovelock said Wednesday. "But, I just don't want to see people thinking this money is going to go to the K-9 unit until the board makes that decision."
Lovelock and police Chief Bruce Smith have said the Board of Trustees told cruise organizers that there were once the last police dog retires in the near future.
However, North Gratiot Cruise Chairman John Vecchio said Monday the cruise foundation aims to donate proceeds from the Aug. 26 event to the township and Macomb County Sheriff's Office K-9 units.
"Our mission is really to keep the K-9 unit alive in Chesterfield," Vecchio said.
It would take about $50,000 to buy a new dog, train the animal and get a new K-9 vehicle. After that, about $15,000 would be needed annually to maintain the unit, according to Vecchio and township police.
Event organizers acknowledge it would take multiple cruises to raise enough money to support and sustain the township K-9 unit.
"Would it be the difference to put a patrolman on the road or a dog on the road?" Lovelock questioned.
"Dogs are great but it's a costly maneuver to put a dog on the road...Unless they come up with an endowment to pay for that, there's no way the township can afford to do that," he said.
He emphasized that the township board and police chief would ultimately have the final say on the unit, based on finances.
In early 2011, . That leaves longtime police dog Bulzi, a German Shepherd trained in narcotic detection, as the sole remaining canine in the department.
"We're going to use the dog until he can no longer work," Lt. Charles Verschaeve . "We don't know how long that will be."
What do you think township officials should do about the K-9 Unit?