New Castle News

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February 12, 2013

Neshannock authorizes $16,000 for police dog

NEW CASTLE — The Neshannock Township Police Department will be getting a K-9 officer.

At a special meeting Monday morning, the township supervisors approved spending up to $16,000 to purchase and train a dog and officer and to equip one of the department’s seven patrol cars to accommodate the animal. Officer Al DeCarbo will be the dog handler.

The police department will be doing fundraising to offset the cost.

Lt. John Rand said the dog, the department’s first, is expected to arrive this summer.

Rand told the supervisors he anticipates the dog will be used primarily as a public relations ambassador at the schools, but that it also will be trained to search for drugs and locate missing people. He noted the township has several housing units that cater to elderly residents.

“Generally, dogs are trained for drugs, searches and attack,” Rand said.

The supervisors asked if the dog could be of use to the fire department and if that department could be asked to make a contribution to offset the cost.

Rand said the fire department participates in searches. He noted a search dog could have been put to use over the weekend when a woman wandered away from her home.

Although she was located, “it was 18 degrees outside,” he said. The police and fire departments generally participate in searches like that, Rand noted, “but we could have used a dog.”

The supervisors also:

•Voted 2-1, with Joe Gierlach opposed, to set the real estate tax collector’s wages, effective Jan. 1, 2014. The wages will increase by $250 per year. The pay will be $16,082.77 in 2014, increasing to $16,832.77 by 2017, the final year of the four-year term. Gierlach had suggested raises of 3 percent each year. This had been the customary increase given by the supervisors, he said.

•Ratified financing for a Zamboni for the Hess Ice Rink.

•Approved Phoenix Benefits Group for the actuarial work for the police and non-uniformed workers’ pension plans.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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