In the [October 4] article, Selectman John Gifford and Chairman Lou Mossey have asked for more information and residents’ input regarding the decision whether or not to have a K9 on the Milton Police Department.
In the literature, there is overwhelming evidence that the implementation of a K9 unit on a police force is very positive, with a general decrease in crime. That reason alone provides powerful support of adding a K9 unit to Milton Police Department. K9 police dogs can be used for narcotic detection, bomb detection, tracking, arson detection and patrol. Russ Hess, executive director of the United States Police Canine Association, has reported that canines are one of the fastest growing tools for police to use in the fight against crime. A dog’s sense of smell and vision, which are far better than human’s, have been instrumental in successfully tracking people on foot, either for criminal apprehension or in search and rescue situations. Police dogs can search a building or large area in a fraction of the time that it would take for human officers. K9s can be used to provide legal grounds to establish probable cause for a search. In addition, dogs have the advantage of greater speed than humans and can be trained to stop fleeing or violent suspects. Police dogs support a higher level of officer safety. Police dogs can de-escalate a dangerous situation just by their mere presence. Police dogs often improve public perceptions, public relations and increase department morale.
I find it interesting, not to mention very generous, that Pinebrook Kennels is willing to donate a dog worth $5,000, Milton Veterinary Hospital is willing to provide free yearly check-ups and a 20 percent discount on emergency care, Diane Tanner is willing to pay for dog food and [Selectboard] Vice-Chairman Darren Adams is willing to provide a dog food bowl and leash. It’s quite obvious to me that the Milton community is extremely willing to support a K9 unit. I feel that all of this generosity would not be offered if there was any doubt that a K9 would not provide long-term benefits for Milton residents, as well as K9 support for nearby communities who have supported us with their K9.
Kimberley L. Hoffman