The Good Stuff: Task force ‘Gunner’

The Good Stuff updates: Swimmer, kayaker, others still delivering the goods


The Minden Police Department is less than two months from adding an officer, K-9 Tigo, to its force. 

But doing so will cost the department at least $15,000.

"A K-9 is a big asset to the department, as for as narcotic control and crowd control. And it's just a tool that helps us as a department," Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper explained.

But with the city on a tight budget, he and his officers realized it would be difficult for the city to afford a new one without some fundraising of their own.

"Money is an issue everywhere, especially in a small community like Minden," Cropper said.

So for the past couple weekends, officers have been manning a table in the Walmart lobby seeking donations to get Tigo to town.

"We've reached out via social media, telephone calls and just word of mouth," Shane Griffith, who will be Tigo's handler, said of how his department  has gone about raising money.

At WalMart, Griffith's 7-year-old son Gunner also is lending a hand.

"I'm very proud of him. He's been up here with me since Day One," said Griffith, a 15-year veteran of the police force.

Gunner is dressed in police blue, complete with a flashlight, radio, utility belt and a badge.

"They sniff and help track people. And they help other police officers if they need help," Gunner said of police K-9s.

"He wants that dog at the house, and he thinks is going to be his dog," Griffith said with a smile on his face.

Gunner's dream of becoming a police officer one day will make him the latest family member to join law enforcement, his father said.

"His grandfather, uncle, step-grandmother and another uncle," Griffith said, listing family members who made the decision to protect and serve.

When asked who his hero is, Gunner crowned his father with that title.

"He's always been my favorite person in the whole world."

Dad, however, knows he's got close company at the top.

"He watched 'T.J. Hooker' every day."

The 1980s TV crime-fighting show starred William Shatner.

Griffith said he records episodes for his son to watch.

"Because he's an awesome cop," Gunner explained.

"He has a sweet police car. It has a sweet siren and goes really fast."

So far, Minden police have raised close to $10,000.

They also are holding a monthlong raffle of 31 guns in 30 days.

Tickets cost $20 each and can be purchased at Ramsey's Southern Outfitters throughout August.

A drawing will be held daily throughout September.

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