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updated: 5/20/2013 9:00 AM

Drive-through dinner supports Aurora canine unit

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A drive-through restaurant of sorts will be setting up shop Tuesday at Aurora police headquarters, selling barbecue meals to benefit a new team joining the force this summer -- a canine unit.

The Citizen Police Academy Alumni of Aurora is staging a drive-through dinner event from 4 to 7 p.m. at 1200 E. Indian Trail Road to raise money for "wish list" items not included in the $260,000 budgeted for re-establishment of a canine unit.

Tina Bohman, past president and founder of the Citizen Police Academy Alumni of Aurora, said some requested items include protective vests for the four police dogs soon to join the force, grooming items and bathing stations.

"We ask sometimes the officers or the command staff to provide us with a wish list of items that are needed but they can't afford (in their budget)," Bohman said. "We fundraise to meet those needs."

About 80 volunteers who have completed the Citizen Police Academy program make up the alumni group whose past donations have included shields for sergeants' squad cars, a battering ram used to open doors and equipment for bicycle units and the police honor guard.

Volunteers staffing the drive-through Tuesday will serve chicken, pork chops, a combination plate or a hot dog dinner with sides including baked beans, coleslaw and applesauce. Hot dog plates are $5 while other meals cost $11 in advance and $12 at the event. People can pre-order tickets by calling Bohman at (630) 896-2116.

She said the canine unit is a worthy cause to support because it will help Aurora officers search for drugs or missing people more efficiently, without having to wait for assistance from trained dogs and handlers from other departments.

"Now we'll have our own unit, which will greatly help the officers locally," Bohman said.

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