It's the first of its kind for Ulster and Green counties. A K9 Bomb Detection Unit is headed to the Saugerties Police Department, thanks to a Homeland Security grant. YNN’s Alexandra Weishaupt has more on how the police dog will serve more than just the town.
SAUGERTIES, N.Y. -- “With the most recent events that occurred in Boston, it’s a wakeup call, once again, that anytime you have a mass gathering, you have the potential for either domestic terrorism or foreign terrorism,” said Chief Joseph Sinagra of the Saugerties Police Department.
Chief Joseph Sinagra says as Saugerties serves as the home to several events that draw thousands of people each year, the need for terrorism prevention and detection is a necessity.
“These events, unfortunately, can bring the worst out in some people where they look at it as an opportunity. We need to have the tools to be able to asses and to be able to mitigate these events before they happen,” said Sinagra.
Recognizing the need, the Department of Homeland Security is awarding the police department about $50,000 in federal funding. That money that will go towards the addition of a police dog certified to detect explosive devices, a vehicle and equipment for its handler.
Sinagra says it’s part of a regionalized effort between local law enforcement organizations in Ulster and Greene counties as the dog will also assist other agencies when in need.
“We rely heavily on the State Police and the Ulster County Sheriff’s office and the Greene County Sheriff’s office,” said Sinagra. “By receiving this grant, this is a way for us to pay back when we’re using their services.”
A collaboration to provide, enhance and maintain terrorist prevention efforts within neighboring Hudson Valley counties.
The dog will first head to Cooperstown to undergo a five month training program with the New York State Police. Sinagra says he expects to have the Explosive Detection Team up and running within a year.