The Utica Police Department has a new K-9 thanks to a donation from Adirondack Bank.
The police department and Adirondack Bank announced the new police dog, a 1-year-old German shepherd named Dak, on Monday afternoon at Utica City Hall.
Dak and Officer Kyle Piersall are in the midst of a 15-week training program in narcotics detection and patrol work. The pair are expected to complete their training by September 2020.
The department now has four K-9s with a range of experiences and abilities, including bomb detection, said Utica police Deputy Chief Edward Noonan.
Adirondack Bank was approached earlier this year about contributing a donation toward the purchase of a K-9, said president and CEO Rocco Arcuri. After asking about the full cost, Adirondack Bank offered to cover the entire $8,000 to purchase and train the dog, he said.
“(Dak) is going to be helping keep drugs off the street,” Arcuri said. “That’s really important to us, for this community. If we can keep drugs away from our kids, we can’t think of a better way to use our money and spend it.”
A lot of the violence encountered in the city, state and around the country is connected to drug trafficking, Noonan said.
“Any type of assistance that we can have in narcotic interdiction really makes an impact on the community,” he said.
Due to the tough economic situation for local municipalities, the Utica Police Department wouldn’t have been able to afford the new K-9 without the donation from Adirondack Bank, Noonan said. The purchase of a new K-9 would have been pushed off until at least next year.
The K-9’s name, Dak, is a reference to Adirondack Bank as the donor, Noonan said.
The police department has a $3,000 annual budget for its K-9s, which is primarily for veterinarian bills, shots and other health-related expenses, according to the police department. The food for the dogs is donated by Purina.