by Joan Hellyer
The Solebury Township Police Department is seeking to add its first K9 unit to the force and is asking for the community’s help to make it happen.
The need for a K9 in the township of almost 8,700 residents has increased in the past few years, said Jonathan Koretzky, a Solebury detective and corporal.
“Our department has called in police dogs from agencies throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania to assist in those investigations,” he said.
“Having a K9 available within the township would expedite the response time to incidents, which increases the likelihood of an expeditious apprehension of suspects or locating a missing person.”
The K9 unit also will handle various patrol functions in the 27.15-square mile town in Central Bucks County.
The department is in the process of selecting a K9 officer and will then select a K9 best suited for the community, the detective/corporal said. As part of the effort the Solebury department is raising donations to support the future purchase and training of the K9.
“The police K9 average cost is between $8,000 and $10,000 (and) training for the officer and K9 will cost between $12,000 and $15,000,” Jonathan said.
The department also is raising additional funds to purchase a K9 vehicle and related equipment.
Ongoing expenses will range from $2,000 to $5,000 per year and will include food costs, boarding, veterinary services, and the maintenance of the K9 vehicle and equipment.
Common dog breeds of K9 are the Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd, Bloodhound, Dutch Shepherd and Labrador Retriever, according to the American Kennel Club.
“These breeds are known for their incredible working ability, their desire to cooperate with their handlers, and, in some cases, their tenacity in fighting criminals,” according to the organization’s website.
Solebury expects to have its K9 unit up and running in 2020, the detective/corporal said.
The department is accepting donations now to help with the K9 start up and will continue to accept assistance to support the unit, he said.
Check donations can be made payable to Solebury Township, with “K9” written on the memo line. The contributions can be sent to the Solebury Township Police Department, P.O. Box 139, Solebury, PA 18963.