When: East Cocalico Township Supervisors Meeting, Nov. 3
What happened: Two East Cocalico Township police officers promoting the formation of a K-9 unit again appeared before the Board of Overseers to answer questions and clarify concerns. Cpl. Chris Luongo and Detective Brandon Van Ausdal centered the discussion on costs, overtime and training.
Funding: Officers said the program would be largely funded by setting up a nonprofit corporation so donations would be tax-free. The township will pay the estimated $60,000 to purchase a new police cruiser and outfit it to transport the dog. Since the township is buying new cars for 2023, one of them will be equipped with a K-9 unit. About $10,000 would be set aside for unexpected vet bills. Initially, funds are expected to be raised to cover some of the costs of the program, including $800 for dog food and $1,200 to train the dog and handler to function as a team. Besides the car, another township expense would be to help cover overtime if the dog was called, either by township officers or officers from a neighboring municipality in need of a dog.
Quotable“I propose that any overtime incurred be reimbursed through the donations we receive,” Luongo said. “We want this to be an asset to the community and not a burden. We want to pay as much as possible from the donation fund. »
Hiring an officer: One way to mitigate overtime, Luongo said, would be for the township, as planned, to hire a new police officer. Supervisor Jeffrey Mitchell said, “That position could be in the budget, but the board hasn’t approved it yet.”
Coaching: Luongo said the dog and handler will attend a six-week training program at Iron Rose K9 in Boiling Springs. “You have to make sure the handler and the dog train together properly,” Luongo said.
K-9 background: The dogs are between 18 months and 2 years old when they arrive. The most commonly used breeds are the Belgian Malinois, the Dutch Shepherd and the German Shepherd.