“A canine can easily handle the job of several police officers in a given situation, in a building search, an area search where there’s a patient we’re looking for or somebody in criminal activity,” said his partner, K-9 handler Officer Timothy Morrow.
Grom, Blek, and Fix were also welcomed to the department. They’ll give some much needed help to the only three K-9 officers they currently have – Riko, Marco, and Kira.
For the last several years, there’s been a shortage of K-9′s on the force. Since last year, there haven’t been any dogs on the overnight shifts
It’s been forcing Springfield Police to borrow K-9′s from state police or surrounding towns.
In the heat of pursuit, the time it takes waiting for the pooch to arrive can be crucial.
“It’s invaluable time that goes by is a minute that suspect is getting away. When we have a K-9 right there, our chances of apprehending this suspect goes up greatly,” Sgt. John Delaney stated.
They’ll also be used for preventative work as well. “They go into our schools. These officers and dogs will be patrolling the streets 24/7. They’re also an integral part in working with the arson squad,” added Mayor Domenic Sarno.
When it comes down to working with man versus animal, there has to be one who’s easier to work with. “I’ve been working with the canine for over 17 years, so I’d say, the dog at this point,” Officer Morrow chuckled.
The police department says they’ll be adding two more canine cops in the spring. It takes ten weeks to train the dogs.
They were able to pay for new additions through a grant from the North American Police Work Dog Association.
If you’d like to donate to the K-9 unit, you can do so by contacting the Commissioner’s Office at (413) 787-6310.