Adams Police Chief Richard Tarsa announces the acquisition of funds to create a K-9 unit on Wednesday.
ADAMS, Mass. — The town's police department tracked down grant funding to implement a K-9 Unit.
Police Chief Richard Tarsa announced the acquisition of a $25,000 grant from the Stanton Foundation to fund the creation and early maintenance of a K-9 unit, at Wednesday's Board of Selectmen meeting.
"[The grant] just may be coming quicker than we anticipated. We actually thought it was going to be April or May. It looks like we're in a position now, where, basically, it will be in process within the next couple of weeks."
According to Tarsa, the town has the benefit of completing a dog and officer training course at the Berkshire County House of Corrections in Lanesborough under the tutelage of Dwayne Foisy, which will take place at the beginning of 2014. The town has effectively curbed travel costs from participating in the program typically conducted in Pennsylvania.
Officer Curtis Crane will soon get a new best friend as the town's K-9 officer in training.
"The dog will stay with that officer. The dog becomes a part of that officer's family, essentially," Tarsa said. "This will not affect his daily patrol duties. Basically, this is his partner for eight hours a day."
The is awarded for the acquisition and training of a green dog and K-9 officer. Tarsa said the Stanton Foundation has a lot of input as to what type of police dog is placed with the town in accordance with its needs, including whether or not it is trained to identified narcotics.
"In this day and age, minutes are crucial. If you have an Alzheimer patient, a dementia patient, a young child [and] they wander off, now you have a dog in town that can track. The services we can provide from that are just tremendous."
Based on an estimation on the Massachusetts Municipal Association website, total startup costs for a K-9 unit are $17,700, including conversion of a cruiser for K-9 use, construction of an outdoor kennel and dog food.
Adams may occasionally be called upon to provide canine services to other needed municipalities. The town joins North Adams, Williamstown, Pittsfield, along with the county sheriff's department as a department with a K-9 unit.
The Dalton Police Department was also awarded a Stanton Foundation grant this month, after the Dalton Selectmen approved $26,000 in funding for K-9 unit development. The two towns will complete training cooperatively.