In March of 2019, The Hometown Foundation, Inc. received a request from Plainfield CT Police Department for assistance in continuing their Police K-9 program after the recent unexpected retirement of its German Shepherd K-9. The Plainfield Police Department previously used its K-9 to detect narcotics, locate missing persons, search vehicles, and apprehend criminals in their small town of 16,000 residents. The quickest way to find a lost person or suspect in a town with this much wooded area, is by using a Police K-9. In order to keep the community safe and continue their efforts, The Hometown Foundation, Inc., in conjunction with Key Bank, donated a fully equipped Police K-9 to the Plainfield Police Department.
The Police K-9 was donated in early June 2019 to Officer Ryan Barile who will be the new Police K-9 Handler for their department. This donation would not have been possible without the generous support of our Police K-9 Program by Key Bank. Because of their contribution dollars through the Neighborhood Assistance Act, we were able to donate a K-9, leads, and tug toys on the day K-9 Warren was picked up.
The K-9 Handler and the K-9 Officer will also receive a Garmin Watch, a Garmin GPS collar with Huntview Maps, and other equipment that will be purchased and donated to the department. The well-being of the Handler and K-9 are our top priorities and thanks to Key Bank we are able to ensure their safety and make sure they are fully equipped and ready for the job. Chris Sferruzzo of The Hometown Foundation, Inc. states “Given how rural the area is and how much tracking the K-9s do, it is imperative that the location of the handler and K-9 is known at all times. It is also important to know their previous locations so they can keep track of where they’ve been.” Thankfully, the Garmin equipment we provide them will make this possible and is one of the ways we keep everyone safe.
Training is a vital component of K-9 Police work that is not publicly funded. Proper and extensive training is expensive yet critical to the K-9 Unit’s success. To combat the expense, we work with the departments to raise money through local fundraisers and initiatives. The support of the community is so important during this process because the expenses of a K-9 Unit never cease throughout the year. Although we jumpstart the donation process, funding within the community is needed year round to support the on-going costs of training, equipment, and other expenditures. We are grateful for Key Bank supporting our K-9 program and helping us get this pivotal process started for Plainfield CT Police Department.
The town of Plainfield, Connecticut might be small but they sure have a big heart. Dedication and determination isn’t something their town is lacking. They are a community that comes together in a time of need and are excited to begin on this journey with the Police Department. The residents and the town support the police’s decision to continue the program. Although the K-9 will be operating as a fully functional officer, he will also be present at school pep rallies, fundraisers, and other functions so he becomes a friendly and familiar face within the community. The K-9 will soon be known all around town and be trained in tracking missing persons, obedience, suspect apprehension, and handler protection. Plainfield is very excited to work with K-9 Warren and make him a part of the team. We encourage residents and business owners to help them with any financial assistance possible since the program is vastly funded by private donations.