Earlier this year the Radnor Township Police Department added some two-wheeled vehicles to its force. Now it’s going to try four-legged officers.
Last week Radnor’s Board of Commissioners approved a two-year pilot program to add two dogs to Radnor Police’s force.
The dogs will go on patrol with their police officer handlers to help investigate crimes, such as burglaries and robberies, as well as sniff for bombs before public events, reports Main Line Media News.
Even in the Middle Ages money was set aside in towns and villages to pay for the upkeep of bloodhounds to be used by parish constables to track down outlaws and criminals, according to Wikipedia.
It may be an old tradition, but using trained canines, typically German Shepherds or Belgian Malinoises, is actually very high-tech and efficient, Lt. Chris Flanagan said.
“We want the community to have the state-of-the-art to make sure we’re protected to the highest level,” Flanagan told Radnor Patch. “Even with the high level of technology that Transportation Security Administration uses, the most trusted results comes from a canine, even to this day.”
Dr. Len Donato of the Radnor Veterinary Hospital is one of two residents who aim to help raise about $100,000, which will cover the two dogs, their training, general care for the year and for one police car to be outfitted to carry dogs and one purchase of a new vehicle.
The fundraising has not officially begun, Donato said, but there has already been about $20,000 pledged.
The bomb sniffing aspect of the dogs’ training is important, he said. Villanova University and other institutions bring in dogs when they have large events. Radnor hopes that they will be able to be called on for such assignments, the fees of which would help subsidize the program.
The dogs will live with their respective handlers. Officers went through training and testing, and two Radnor police officers have been identified as the possible handlers, Donato said.
“We’re going to try it out and go from there,” he said.
RelatedHaverford Rounds Out It's K9 Unit