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Village Of New Richmond Gets K-9
A little common courtesy, good old fashioned police work and before you know it, a tiny local police department will have its own canine unit at no cost to the taxpayers.
For the first time, the Village of New Richmond will have its very own police dog on the streets.
K-9 units are an effective law enforcement tool, especially when it comes to drug related crime. But they're expensive.
Rich Jaffe explains the tremendous effort by one particular officer and the business community.
This police cruiser will be the vehicle for the K-9 team.
When Officer Craig Heintzleman got his hands on this old car it was about to be scrapped.
It had more than 200-thousand cop miles on it. Now, it's been redone, rehabbed, fresh engine work, a new two-thousand dollar light bar, a four-thousand dollar air conditioning system for the dog and the back seat is now a cage.
All bought cheap, donated or scrounged, so this community can have a dog.
A law enforcement veteran, part-time New Richmond Police Officer Craig Heintzelman has been pounding the village pavement, drumming up support to pay for the village's first K-9 unit.
He's made friends with business owners, sold t-shirts, won hearts and support. It's coming from places like Peacock Pastry.
Jill McDonough, Bakery Owner:
"Actually, what we're seeing is a police presence. People getting to know the officers, they come in, they visit, get to know the customers, it's a lot of positive feedback. Before it was a little more driving by, now there is the interaction."
An anonymous donor offered to buy a dog for the village ... but the rest was up to them.
Chief Randy Harvey, New Richmond Police:
"For me then, I had to raise the money that would train the dog, and provide a car for the dog and all the equipment that would go inside the car for this K-9 program and to sustain the program."
Heintzelman took the challenge and has raised the money in five weeks.
His dog is making its way through customs and should be in New Richmond in a few weeks.
He expects the dog to be a significant deterrent, as well as a great weapon against the bad guys, especially when it comes to drugs.
Craig Heintzleman, K-9 Handler:
"When you have a dog out, you don't know when that dog's out, so the possibility of getting stopped is a lot higher than just a regular patrol officer. The dog can search a car more accurately, quicker, cut down on time so we can either take enforcement action or go on to the next stop."
Business owners, like Bob Lees, are totally behind the plan.
Bob Lees, Front Street Cafe:
"Every small town in the country has problems. We're not unique when it comes to that, but we're not going to sit back and do nothing about it. We're very, very happy to be proactive working with the police to work on problems."
New Richmond only has four full-time police officers and three part-timers.
So, the addition of this dog is truly like adding another police officer.
And again, it's costing the taxpayers nothing.
Officer Heintzleman tells us after he gets his dog, they'll both go through six weeks of training and hopefully be on the streets by November.
We'll keep you posted on their progress.
If you would like to help support the new service dog program, you can mail your tax deductible donation to:
New Richmond Police Department
102 Willow Street
New Richmond, OH 45157
For more information, call 513-553-3121