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Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Gainesville City Commission approved a request for the Gainesville Police Department to get funding from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

The department is requesting $12,000 from the foundation to purchase an additional police dog at about $9,500 to add to its K-9 unit.

The department plans to use the leftover funds to purchase three automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, to be placed in patrol cars. The devices are used to restart someone’s heart on the scene of an emergency.

The foundation was able to support the Gainesville Fire Department in November with a donation of about $13,000, which the department used toward a thermal imaging radar that finds people in smoky conditions by looking for body heat.

About half of the funding for the foundation is provided through “rounding up” where restaurant patrons are given the option to round up their purchase to the next dollar.

“Five or 10 cents over 500 restaurants adds up to over a million dollars every year,” said Robin Peters, executive director of the foundation. “Small change equals big change.”

The other half of the funds come partly from traditional fundraisers like golf and tennis tournaments and paper medallion donations available for purchase in the month of October.

“The restaurants in Gainesville consistently place in the top 10 percent of our top donators,” Peters said. “We like to put that money back into the community.”

Gainesville was the No. 1 contributor in the summer of 2011.

Contact Alex Catalano at

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