Swatara Township police bring back K9 unit

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Swatara Township police are bringing back their K9 program after 12 years.

Officer Scott Gibson picked up his new partner from Castle’s K9 on Thursday. Officer Kix is a Belgian Malinois and German shepherd-mix.

K9 Kix will be trained in patrol, tracking, and narcotics.

“Right now, it’s just a bonding phase until the 19th when we start our training,” Gibson said.

The department is working hard to curb crime.

“We use the dogs now from surrounding municipalities. The first HEAT detail we had this last weekend, we borrowed dogs from Harrisburg City. Derry Township and Lower Paxton we’ve used in the past. Several days later, we borrowed a dog from the sheriff’s office for a bomb threat in a building, so we’ve been taxing other municipalities to assist us. Now we want to step up to the plate and help as well, so the dog is not only going to get used in Swatara Township for all the work we need it for, we are also going to make it available for surrounding communities because they’ve helped us out,” ChIef Darrell Reider said.

The plan is to add another K9 to the team late summer. The fundraising continues.

“We are still about $40,000 to $50,000 short of being able to get the second dog going, but we hope by August we’ll have that. I’m going on faith we are going to do it. We already ordered a second dog for August and we picked a second handler, Officer Bloss,” Reider said.

Donations and grants covered the cost of K9 Kix. Rossmoyne Animal Emergency Trauma Center is assisting with medical and other supplies.

Again, funding is needed for the new K-9, training and other necessary supplies. You can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/swatara-township-police-k9-unit

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