Poland Township trustees had a dog day meeting last week as they accepted a check for $13,000 to get a new K-9 officer on the police force. There is still a lot of work to be done, but police Chief Brian Goodin said the new K-9 officer could be on the road early next year.
"We're looking at after the first of the year to put the wheels in motion," Goodin said. "Hopefully the new K-9 will be sworn in by spring."
It has been a few years since Poland Township Police has had a K-9 officer. The last dog was Paco, who served from 2003 to 2007 but was forced to retire for health reasons.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Poland Township trustees Robert Lidle Jr., Mark Naples and Eric Ungaro accept a check from township residents Michael Simon and Eunice Duff to help in getting township police a new K-9 unit.
Goodin said Simon has long been a supporter of the K-9 unit and is a dog lover himself.
"He loves dogs and I believe he has eight of his own," Goodin said. "He approached us recently with the thought of donating for a new K-9 dog."
Goodin said the funds will help cover the purchase of the dog and the training of an officer-handler. He said the department will have to get a vehicle and equip it for K-9 use. He said the vehicle has to have a temperature control for hot days that will automatically put the windows down if the temperature gets too hot inside the vehicle.
Because the old K-9 vehicle has long been out of service, the department and trustees are looking at a new one.
"We are looking into the new Ford Explorer," he said.
The Explorer police unit costs around $25,000 and would take an additional $7,000 to $10,000 to outfit it for K-9 service.
"We're sending letters out this month to area businesses and past donors to raise the rest of the funds to get the K-9 back up and running," Goodin said.
He did say there has already been a local dog food company that offered to donate food on a monthly basis.
Goodin said the new dog would be a dual purpose dog that can do tracking as well as drug sniffing.