ORANGE COUNTY, Ind. — Thanks to a generous donation, the Orange County Sheriff's Department is one step closer to having their own K-9 program.

David L. Miller of Hoosier Uplands and his executive board presented a $10,000 check to Orange County Sheriff Josh Babcock and Deputy/K9 Handler Ryan Smith on Thursday.

The Sheriff's Department was awarded the donation from Hoosier Uplands Community Development and Improvement Grant, according to a press release.

"This will be a much-needed asset to the law enforcement community in Orange County," Miller said.

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The Sheriff's Department is in the process of developing a K-9 program. The addition of a trained police service dog would be an asset to the department in several ways, including locating missing persons and tracking down serious or violent offenders.

The department also plans to use the K-9 program for informational and educational programs throughout the community.

With a start up goal of $20,000, the department is asking for the community's help. The donation from Hoosier Uplands is a great start, but the department must be able to sustain the program for the future, so that start up goal is just the beginning.

If you would like to contribute, donations can be made in any manner. Checks should be made out to the "Orange County Sheriff's Department K9 Fund". Donations can be dropped off or mailed to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, located at 205 E. Main Street, Paoli, IN 47454.

Donations are tax deductible. 

Questions can be forwarded to Deputy Ryan Smith at (812) 723-2417 or