K-9s, cars to take control on Cruise Night

From a therapy dog’s stress-busting skills to a drug dog’s crime-busting expertise, the K-9 Unit of the Chester County Sheriff’s Office has grown from two teams to 10 over the past decade.

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 10.02.38 PMOn Friday, Aug. 19, the public will have an opportunity to see the K-9 program in action at the Chester County Sheriff’s Office's Fifth Annual Cruise Night, which is being held at West Chester University’s Farrell Stadium from 6 to 9 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Chester County Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh said she and her deputies have organized the event to raise awareness about the K-9 teams, which provide services to law-enforcement agencies in the five-county region. The dogs are trained in skills that include sniffing out narcotics or explosives, locating cadavers or accelerants, and providing comfort to crime victims. They are also used for patrol, tracking, search, and tactical operations, Welsh said.

"These smart and talented dogs are sworn deputies in the Sheriff's Office,” said Welsh. “While I appreciate all the deputies that I have the privilege of working with, I have to admit, the four-legged deputies are some of my favorites."

Welsh explained that the basic cost of a dog, including training, is more than $15,000. Once certified, both dogs and handlers require continued training and re-certification. An experienced K-9 team is valued at more than $30,000, she said. Proceeds from Friday night’s event will help subsidize training and equipment.

Admission to the event, which includes a display of antique, classic, custom and hot rod cars and motorcycles, is free. Welsh said sponsors provide the bulk of the fundraising, although donations are also accepted. She said the evening would also feature a 50/50 drawing and some shirts would be available for sale.

"We appreciate the many sponsorships for this event,” Welsh said. “Jeff D’Ambrosio Auto Group of Downingtown is our primary sponsor this year.  Jeff D'Ambrosio is a great friend of the Sheriff's Office."

Welsh said a K-9 demonstration would take place at 7 p.m. and an array of antique, classic, custom and hot rod cars and motorcycles would be on display.

“The citizens really love the dogs and their handlers,” Welsh said. “We do many appearances and demonstrations in schools and various events throughout the county.

“The law-enforcement community in the county and region consider the Sheriff’s Office K-9s a very valuable resource,” Welsh added.

For more information, contact Capt. Jason W. Suydam at 610-344-4432 or jsuydam@chesco.org. Farrell Stadium is located at 855 South New Street in West Chester at the university’s South Campus.


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