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COLUMBIA - The Boone County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday it is hoping to receive $1,400 for a new canine unit security system. The department requested the money from the Boone County Commission on Tuesday night.

The system monitors the interior temperature of the vehicle so that the dog does not overheat. If the temperature rises beyond a certain point, the car's horn goes off to alert the canine handler that there is a problem. The system will automatically roll down the window for the canine. There is also a remote that the officer carries on a utility belt that can open the door so the dog can get out.

"The unit itself is 8-plus years old, so it is well beyond the expectation of life expectancy of the unit itself. So it's time to get it replaced" said Major Tom Reddin, the chief deputy officer at the sheriff's department.

The Boone County Sheriff's Department has two canine units. The request is to replace one unit's security system. Reddin said one system fell into disrepair and the department patched it up.

"It's a very costly investment," said Reddin. "The dog itself is several thousand dollars and then the training and everything, and you really don't want to end up having to lose a canine because of a heat exhaustion or heat-related death to the animal."

Reddin said in law enforcement, canines are a very useful tool. They are used for tracking, building searches, drug detection, bomb detection and handler protection.

The department will purchase the replacement security system if the funds are approved at the next Boone County Commission meeting.