Police department in York Co. looking to add K9 officer to the ranks

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NEW FREEDOM, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- A York County Police Department is looking to add four legs to the force.

Southern Regional Police is now fundraising to try and bring back their K9 program.

Officers say a K9 will help track missing or kidnapped kids, track bad guys on the run, and quite simply, bring some smiles.

Southern Regional Police needs to raise $70,000 to make the K9 program possible.

The job requirements? Have four legs, be able to sniff under pressure, and according to Officer Derek Smith, a calm temperament.

“I've seen some crazy K9 dogs. I don’t want that… something that’s good with community, good with kids," explained Officer Smith.

Smith is leading the fundraising effort with the hopes of getting it off the ground.

That way, he says taxpayers won’t pay a penny.

“Our goal right now $70,000. It seems like a lot, but that includes a new patrol car, that would be outfitted with a new K9 cage, safety equipment like heat monitors to keep the dog safe," explained Smith.

Not to mention the dog, itself, and the training needed to make it a good boy or girl for York County.

“Multiple ways it will help the community... between lost children, we cover two school districts down here. Kids run away. Kids get abducted," said Smith.

Neighbors in the community we spoke with support giving a canine a badge.

“They are extremely handy when it comes to searching a vehicle and even when you’re apprehending someone," said Matt Cademartori, a neighbor.

"We actually just got a dog ourselves this last year and it’s amazing what they’re aware of… and my father growing up as a child, he trained dogs for the police force, so I think it would be a great dog if we had a K9 on board," said Candace Fallin, a neighbor.

Some, like little Maya Cademartori, have specific expectations of what the new officer would look and smell like…

“Um really fluffy," said Maya Cademartori. "And that it smells like flowers!"

Roses or not, Smith believes an extra four paws will help keep neighbors safe and build relationships.

“People want to go talk to police because of the dog so it’s good for the community," added Smith.

Officer Smith tells us the goal is to have the K9 by the end of this year.

Click here to Support Southern Regional Police K9 Program.

Click here for the GoFundMe campaign.

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