Editor, The Spotlight;
I am writing to you in an effort to generate public support for an initiative I have started that can and will benefit the residents of the Town of Bethlehem and the Bethlehem Police Department.
I am the owner of Specialized K9 Detection Service, and I have found myself in a unique position of having a third fully trained and certified Narcotics K9 that I am donating to the Bethlehem Police Traffic Safety Unit. Charlie is a 2-year-old Chocolate Lab who has already proven his abilities with respect to drug detection, but more importantly he has shown he has the ability to also be trained for tracking/trailing to assist in the locating of lost children, vulnerable adults and, of course, criminals.
I officially presented the offer to the Chief of Police in early June.
The Town of Bethlehem has not a K9 since 2003 and over the last 12 years, numerous events have occurred which necessitated requests for assistance from other agencies. These include several bank robberies and two cases of intentional death. As you know, our town has a high population of seniors and those we call vulnerable adults. Too frequently, police are called to assist with persons suffering from Alzheimer’s or medical conditions, which cause them to become disoriented and wander. In cases as this and lost children, time is of the essence, and a K9 can mean the difference between life and death. Waiting up to an hour for another agency’s K9 to arrive is unacceptable for such an important tool.
Normally, the cost to establish a unit such as this can be quite expensive. There are many factors which drive this cost up, such as the type of K9 and training. And to be able to provide the town with this opportunity will not only save many thousands of dollars in startup costs, but transitioning Charlie to a new handler will be easily facilitated by us and will cost nothing but our time — an easy sacrifice for such an important function.
We can’t do it alone, and here’s where we need your help. We need someone to take the initiative and establish a group who can work with the police department to help raise awareness to the need and explore ways to help fund the startup. It’s pennies a day, and this will not be funding that needs to continue once he begins working on a regular basis. I have presented this offer to the TSU as a means to stifle drug transit through town by proactive interdiction, which will additionally lead to seizures and asset forfeiture that can fund the unit.
Please consider reaching out to Chief Corsi and your current Town Supervisor to express your support and help make this happen. I care deeply not only for the work my K9’s do, but I have a personal connection to them and our window of opportunity is closing. He’s that good, and I like him that much.
Learn more about us and our K9’s www.LabsFindingDrugs.com.
Editor’s Note: Harrington is a Bethlehem Town Board candidate.
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