New dogs augment police K-9 program

WESTFIELD – A pair of city police officers are traveling to Western Pennsylvania this week and will return with two new dogs who will double the size of their department’s K-9 unit.
Police Chief John Camerota apprised the police commissioners of the plan at their meeting last week.
He told the commissioners that “we found it was a good idea to have a second canine in the department” and went on to say “Capt. (Michael) McCabe and the K-9 (officer) candidate found a grant that really pays for the second canine. It covers all expenses – $25,000.”
He also said that while researching the situation the officers found that “our existing canine is now seven years into service and is ready to retire. So, through our K-9 gift account, we actually have the funds to replace that dog.”
“So, we’re going to move on training two new dogs” he said.
He said that the proposal for a second dog came from Officer Steven Carrington who, he said was a K-9 handler in the military and put a lot of time and effort into his proposal. He is “head and shoulders above everybody else who is interested”, Camerota said.
He said that with the retirement of ‘Falco’, the department’s existing police dog, his handler, Officer Christopher Coach, will be available to handle a replacement dog.
He said that the dogs will be selected and trained by a program offered by Berkshire County Sheriff Capt. Dwayne Foisey who will meet the officers at Shallow Creek Kennels in Pennsylvania and select the dogs for them.
According to its website, the kennel specializes in Belgian Malinois, Dutch shepherd and German shepherd dogs but also offers Labrador retrievers, German shorthair pointers and other sporting breeds.
McCabe explained that the officers will join Foisey at the kennel so “we can get a good fit right off the bat” when he selects dogs for them.
Back in the Berkshires, McCabe told the commissioners, the two officers and their new dogs will take a 12-week training course with eight weeks dedicated to training for patrol functions and four weeks to be used to train the dogs for narcotics duties.
Camerota said that the $25,000 grant which will pay for the expenses of the second dog is a program offered by the Stanton Foundation.
McCabe said that the mission of the foundation, endowed by Frank Stanton, the founder of the CBS news network, is “to present dogs in their best possible light.”
According to the foundation’s website, “The Foundation has seen that canine units can be an important force multiplier for local police departments” so two programs are offered for municipal police departments in Massachusetts.
One program funds the startup costs for departments which are establishing a K-9 unit and a second program which covers the costs for adding a second dog to police departments “with a history of success with an existing K9 unit.”
McCabe said that the grant provides funds to pay for the costs of replacing Carrington in the patrol roster while he is away for training. In addition, Camerota told the commissioners, “there’s money to retrofit the cruiser, to put a kennel at the officer’s house. It (the grant) covers pretty much everything.”

To Top