By Kelly Haberstroh
At last week’s Yorktown Town Board meeting, Police Chief Robert Noble presented Spar, the new K9 officer, and his owner, Officer Michael Campion.
Spar is a dual-purpose patrol K9 who can detect narcotics, track and apprehend if need be. K9 Dallas, a Labrador, is trained primarily for the task of drug detection.
“I believe having a K9 unit is a proactive message to our community and our town is ready to fight the fight against drug dealers in Yorktown,” Noble said. “I believe it is a message that we want the best for our residents.”
Both Officer Campion and K9 Spar attended a six-week physically and mentally demanding program at Shadow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania in March and April.
After being without a K9 unit since 2014, state Senator Terrence Murphy (R/Yorktown) secured a $10,000 grant to restore the program.
“For the better part of 40 years, the Yorktown Police Department had an active K9 program,” Noble said. “Upon retirement of K9 Moose in 2014, the Yorktown Police Department has been without a K9 program for the first time in many years.”
Although the department had been told not to expect the program to return, one of Noble’s goals was to restore it. With the goal of protecting the town against the drug epidemic, the newly staffed K9 program will help officers do their jobs safer when it comes to narcotics dealers and traffickers.
“Just their presence alone will serve as a deterrent for narcotics dealers and traffickers who choose to travel through or set up shop in our town,” Noble said.
At the June 19 meeting, Noble also honored citizens of Yorktown who have helped pay for additional costs with certificates of appreciation.
Jeff and Maddy Cohen from Pet Supplies Plus, while not present to accept their certificate, offered free dog washing for the life of Spar and Dallas, in addition to toys and snacks.
Patty and John Cerbone of JCM Racing purchased dog food for Spar for one year, estimated at $550. Yorktown Auto Body owner Perry Gusikoff has done the work on a vehicle for Officer Campion and Spar at an excess of $2,000.
Dr. Benjamin Nappa and Dr. Joseph Zuckerman at Yorktown Veterinary Associates offered discounted services and waived certain fees for Spar’s veterinary care altogether. Eric and Liz DiBartolo Rainbow at Bridge Pet Crematorium donated a bullet-resistant vest for Spar, costing over $700.
Murphy’s representative T.J. McCormick accepted the certificate of appreciation on his behalf while he was present via Skype video call.
“K9 Spar does not happen without the senator,” Noble said. “Just last night, K9 Spar and Officer Campion made a traffic stop, which resulted in a drug arrest. The officers were the eyes, but Spar had the snout and that closed the deal on the collar.”
Murphy recalled being six years old seeing a Yorktown police officer with a dog and their presence made him feel safe.
“While we all can’t agree on politics all the time, we can agree on keeping the town safe all the time,” Noble said about the support from the town board.
Examiner Media – Keeping you informed with professionally-reported local news, features, and sports coverage.