ELKHART — A police K-9 has been named after the company that helped pay for it. 

Two-year-old Dutch shepherd Polaris, the newest K-9 unit of the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office, was named in honor of the companies that helped fund the dog. Polaris was trained by Patrolman handler Jamie Sterling.

Godfrey Marine and Bennington Pontoon, of Polaris Industries, paid for both the dog and its training. During a presentation at Bennington Pontoon, the company was presented plaques in appreciation for its donation.

“We’ve always been strong supporters of our local law enforcement,” Chief Operating Officer Andrew Bona said. “We’re all about the key stakeholders, and our stakeholders are our local supply chain, our dealers and our employees – all of which contribute to this community strongly. We know that the local first responders and law enforcement, in particular, are a key part of our community.”

Polaris rounds of the set of five K-9 units to the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office. With the retirement of Brutus, the department had been short a pup for nearly six months.

“Not only does this allow us the tools that we need to better serve, but this also allows us to free up a little bit of those budget constraints when companies are willing to step in and assist us with items that we would normally have to budget for to maybe ease up a little bit on the taxpayer,” Sheriff Jeff Siegel said.

Polaris is in the patrol division, ensuring a dog on every shift for better overall coverage and faster response time for the department.

“The community pouring out and helping us buy these trained, highly qualified animals to help (officers) in their work and and additionally to keep them is a huge asset to this county,” Siegel said. “We want people to know that there’s companies like this in the county that do support law enforcement.”

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