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‘We Want To Help’

Charitable Fund Looks To Aid Local Police Agencies

Officer Erik Kraft of the Jamestown Police Department is pictured Wednesday morning with K-9 Kal at Rand Machine Products. The Falconer business announced it is creating a charitable foundation to assist, among other organizations, local police departments. JPD is looking to purchase a bomb-detection K-9. P-J photos by Eric Tichy

FALCONER — Rand Machine Products is used to being in the defense business.

That notion could come in handy for organizations including local police departments following an announcement that the Falconer company was forming a charitable foundation.

“I didn’t really know what we wanted to do, but we want to help somehow,” Kurt Grimm, Rand Machine president and CEO, said during a gathering of employees and members of local police agencies Wednesday at the company’s Allen Street Extension location.

Management at Rand wanted to help first responders, and forming a charitable foundation seemed like the perfect path to take.

“We want to start at Rand a formal ongoing charitable fund … primarily to support Jamestown and Ellicott police departments, the Sheriff’s Department, to keep those funds coming in and give them the support on the things they need help with,” Grimm said.

For now, Rand will form a steering committee that will oversee charitable efforts. Money will be generated through a variety of fundraisers, including golf outings, raffles and sponsorship drives.

Employees will be able to volunteer for the charity efforts.

“The idea is that as employees of Rand you can support our community, specifically our law enforcement, and support the men and woman who support us every single day,” Grimm said, later adding, “That’s the business we’re in, we’re in the defense business.”

Grimm said any money raised for the foundation will be matched by Rand. “You go out and run a golf outing and you raise $2,000, the company is going to match that $2,000,” he said, noting that the company was contributing $5,000 to kick things off.

An early recipient of the fund could be the Jamestown Police Department. K-9 handler Erik Kraft told Rand employees Wednesday the department is looking to add another dog, one that could be used to help detect explosive materials. Kraft is currently partnered with K-9 Kal for narcotics detection and patrols.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, meanwhile, has two bomb-detection dogs for use across the county.

The addition of a bomb-detection dog would be significant for the Jamestown area, Kraft noted.

“The way the world is, things have been getting very, very busy for us,” he said. “With the dog that I have, we don’t have the opportunity to look for gun casings when there’s shots fired or for bomb threats or anything that might be going on in the community. So we’ve been trying to come up with an idea on how we can get an explosive dog in Jamestown. We have one dog in Jamestown, and we have a lot of work.”

The bomb dog, if obtained, would be assigned to a new K-9 handler at JPD.

Kraft brought K-9 Kal into Rand for a brief demonstration. Employees were able to see the pair and ask questions regarding the duties of a handler and how police agencies utilize dogs for different tasks.

Also present Wednesday for the announcement were Ellicott Police Chief William Ohnmeiss, Jamestown Police Chief Timothy Jackson and Sheriff James Quattrone.

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