ACUPD adopted a new K9, Fritter, in January as an April Fool’s joke on Police Chief Jimmy Ellison.
Ellison said the department had been under pressure to start a K9 unit, but due to the financial impacts a dog can have, he resisted.
Kelly Mann, instructor of interior design, was the brains behind the pressure, secretly planning “Fritter” as an April Fool’s joke on Ellison. When the April Fool’s Day joke began, Ellison said he made the best of it.
“When it got sprung on me on April 1, I thought it was great and decided to have some fun with it. On a serious note, Kelly has really helped us see the value of a positive, but humorous social media presence for ACUPD, so my plans are to ride the wave. GEICO Insurance has their gecko lizard guy, ACUPD now has their Fritter.”
The K9 got her name as Ellison was driving home from the donut run. He kept thinking about his favorite treat, an apple fritter, and the name “Fritter” stuck.
Though her duties are expansive, Fritter has a strict schedule and is only on campus at certain times. Ellison said she has been instrumental in bringing several people to justice with her intimidation alone, though there have not been any bite victims yet.
“Fritter’s kinda omnipotent: she’s everywhere and anywhere,” Ellison said. “She’s on campus whenever we need her, two or three days a week, but we never divulge when – that keeps the bad guys guessing.”
Though the rest of the department has enjoyed Fritter’s company, Ellison said that he’s been a little resistant. In only a few months, Fritter has gained more popularity than the chief himself.
“Fritter has proven to be a great fit here at ACUPD and on campus,” Ellison said. “She fits in well with our guys and the students love her. Most concerning to me, though, is that the Fritter fan club has erupted. Requests for Fritter photoshoots and appearances are outpacing requests for Chief Ellison appearances 10-1.”
@k9_fritter (her Instagram) has more followers than ACUPD.
Ellison said because she is an older dog, she might have to retire over the summer.
“We just don’t know if she’s going to be able to withstand the heat,” Ellison said. “The grueling nature of police K9 work in Abilene is summers can be pretty tough. We may retire Fritter and bring in a younger K9 for the school year.”
Fritter said she’s enjoyed her time with ACUPD since she started, and hopes to stay in the family as long as she can.
“Bark,” Fritter said.