The Dalton Police Department was awarded a grant to add a K-9 unit to the force.
DALTON, Mass. — The Police Department has sniffed out additional funding for the establishment of a K-9 unit.
The department was granted a total of $26,000 to the support the creation and early maintenance of a trained dog and K-9 officer.
"It's something that we're excited and gearing up for," Police Chief Jeffrey Coe said, following the formal acceptance of funds by the Select Board on Monday.
The Stanton Foundation — a program supporting human/dog relationships — granted the Police Department $25,000 for initial acquisition, training and maintenance costs for the onset of the new K-9 unit. Total startup costs are estimated at $17,700 per dog, including conversion of a cruiser for K-9 use, construction of an outdoor kennel and dog food, according to information about the grant.
A portion of those costs will be freed up from the donation of a bullet and stab-proof vest for protection of the K-9 by a Massachusetts-based, non-profit called Vested Interest in K-9 Inc., valued at $1,000.
According to Coe, the force expects to acquire a dog by April and complete its certification by the fall. The town will seek the help of Dwayne Foisy, a captain with the Berkshire County sheriff's office and nationally recognized instructor, to train a K-9 officer.
The canine is expected to include guarantees for one-year of health and its ability to successfully complete a K-9 training, including initially a 14-week handler course.
Lee received a Stanton grant earlier this year and added Kumar, a German shepherd, to the force this fall. In addition to the sheriff's office, North Adams, Williamstown, Lanesborough and Pittsfield have K-9 units.