The Ogdensburg Police Department will start the new year by setting up its first K-9 unit to sniff out drug trade in the city.
The program was unveiled Thursday with the donation of a $12,000 federal forfeitures check from St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole M. Duve and Kodiak, the introduction of a nine-month-old black Labrador retriever dog owned by Patrolman Mark T. Kearns. Mr. Kearns and Kodiak will serve as the police departments K-9 team.
The $12,000 will cover the estimated $8,500 expense of starting the program, which includes training for the dog and Mr. Kearns, equipment such as an aluminum cage to be fitted into a patrol car, yearly certification and funding for the program for two years at an estimated $1,000 to $1,500 annually.
This will get us started, said Police Chief Richard J. Polniak Jr., hoping that the annual costs will be a line item in his departments budget by the time the $12,000 is spent. This is a very effective tool.
Ms. Duve agreed.
Its worth every penny, she said. I know from having worked closely with your department over the years what a tremendous need there is in the city for this kind of resource.
Mr. Kearns, who breeds Labrador retrievers, has long wanted the police department to have its own K-9 unit to match those of state police and the St. Lawrence County Sheriffs Department.
I proposed it to the chief and we got the ball rolling, he said.
Mr. Polniak said the sheriffs department may have a used cage to donate to the city.