Is the naming rights industry going to the dogs?
Well, not really. But it was kind of reported that way in the local media after the $1.1 billion HAPO Community Credit Union in Richland, Wash., donated $12,000 to the city of Pasco to buy a new K-9 police pup.
Pasco City Manager Gary Crutchfield was eager to set the record straight.
Pasco held a press conference to introduce the new crime-fighting canine to the community last week when Pasco City Manager Gary Crutchfield and police officers discussed the benefits of the K-9 unit and the importance of community partnerships with companies like HAPO Community CU.
Dave Schulz, president/CEO of HAPO Community CU, also attended the press conference
Pasco City Manager Gary Crutchfield, who approached Schulz for the $12,000 donation, decided with Pasco Police Chief Roger Metzger it would be nice gesture to name the dog after the credit union.
“We both decided that it would be a great idea to name the dog Hapo because typically you want a one or two syllable name and it seemed to fit,” Crutchfield said.
Hapo, a 2-year-old German shepherd, born and trained in Germany to sniff out criminals and drugs, also attended the June 26 press conference for a photo opportunity, but the canine “requested not to answer any questions,” according to Pasco’s press release.
After the press conference, a local newspaper reported: “Businesses have purchased the naming rights of stadium and transit station, but a new police dog in Pasco is taking corporate names to a new level.”
“It was simple gratitude for the contribution,” Crutchfield said. “It wasn’t a naming rights contract like a stadium. It just didn’t cross my mind that someone might see this as a naming rights thing, and then when it came out in the newspaper here, I said, “Oh no. That figures. No good deed goes unpunished.’ ”
Nevertheless, the newspaper also clarified in its article that the city named the dog in gratitude to Hapo Community CU.
Like many small city governments that operate on tight budgets, the city of Pasco didn’t have the funds to replace an aging K-9 police dog.
“We have to make do with less, so HAPO Community CU’s help means a lot to us,” Crutchfield said.
As for Hapo, he’s completing final training and is expected to report for duty over the next few weeks to serve and to protect the city of Pasco.