By Matt Fossen
Ithaca Chief of Police John R. Barber has reported that overhead costs for a re-established K-9 police program have been covered by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security as well as local private donations.
The IPD will now prepare for dog selections in March having finished its officer test and selection procedure for the team. The coming spring months will also entail the IDP participating in an eight week K-9 certification program in Syracuse, and eventually moving into a four week training program for K-9 explosive detection units.
Beyond defusing and searching for explosives, the department has said that the unit will be used primarily for suspect apprehension, building examinations, and missing person searches. Dogs will also be present at cultural festivals, sporting events, community civic events, as well as other large crowd gatherings.