Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mccandless, Sharpsburg Police Forces to Get K-9s Local Businesses Help with Program Costs

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mccandless, Sharpsburg Police Forces to Get K-9s Local Businesses Help with Program Costs

Article excerpt

Police departments in McCandless and Sharpsburg soon will get their first K-9 units, something neighboring forces have maintained for decades.

In August, McCandless gave the go-ahead to its police department to develop its own K-9 unit.

"It's long overdue," Chief David DiSanti said as he thanked McCandless council for its approval. "It's going to be a great addition."

The chief told council that the dog, a male named Joy, will assist police in locating lost children, missing persons and fugitives. He will be used to search and secure schools, hospitals and care facilities. And he will attend community events, where he will demonstrate his skills. His handler will be Sgt. Bryan Madden, who has been on the force for 25 years.

Town manager Toby Cordek said McCandless police historically relied on other departments in the North Hills for K-9 services. But one department terminated its program, and Chief DiSanti made it a priority for McCandless to have its own K-9 unit.

"First and foremost," Mr. Cordek said, "it was the strong recommendation of the chief. 'I want to get this through,' he told me. He had a very qualified staff member, Sgt. Madden, who had years of dog-training experience. All of these factors created serendipity."

Sgt. Madden has had working-line German shepherds in his home for 20 years. He teaches beginner and advanced obedience for dogs and their owners and is a certified American Kennel Club evaluator and a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.Joy will live with the Maddens when he isn't working.

"Sgt. Madden has the experience, the knowledge, the skill and the willingness to make this program a success," Chief DiSanti told council. Sgt. Madden has obtained discounted health care from Allegheny Veterinary Associates on Perry Highway and a monthly donation of food through Healthy Pet Products on McKnight Road, the chief said.

Joy and Sgt. Madden will begin their careers together by training at Shallow Creek Kennels in Mercer County. It's a nationally recognized K-9 program used by police departments throughout the Pittsburgh area.

It's also where Sharpsburg will get its K-9. Sharpsburg is working on coming up with funds for the purchase and training. …

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