- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Residents in the southern Illinois community of Belleville have pitched in to bring a new member of the police force to town.

The (Belleville) News Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/Lwmup1 ) Guilty, a 4-year-old German Shepherd, joined the department in October.

Members of the public raised more than $20,000 so the department could buy Guilty and pay for training and necessary equipment.

Belleville Police Officer Brian Dowdy is Guilty’s partner and handler. He says “You can’t thank the citizens enough” for raising the money.

Roger Wigginton is a businessman who led the fundraising effort. He says he’s passionate about making Belleville a safe place.

Guilty is trained for narcotics and patrol work and he’s already helped solve some crimes. In December, he tracked down a suspect after a theft at the local Kmart.

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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com

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