Dunkirk Police put K-9 vehicle into service

Photo by Observer Staff Nichole Gugino From left to right: Nathan Greene of Custom Collsion, K9 Officer Matt Hazelton, K9 Nico, Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano, Schults General Manager and Co-Owner Michael Dougherty

Photo by Observer Staff Nichole Gugino
From left to right: Nathan Greene of Custom Collsion, K9 Officer Matt Hazelton, K9 Nico, Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano, Schults Resale General Manager and Co-Owner Michael Dougherty

In March of 2015 we embarked on a program to put a new K-9 in service as our prior K-9 was being retired. The response that we received from the Community Businesses, Residents and Service Clubs was outstanding. Within a very short period of time we received commitments that guaranteed the start up costs of a new K-9 program as well as a commitment for veterinary care and food. In addition because of the overwhelming response received we have been afforded the ability to fund several other immediate needs of the K-9 program as well. One of those needs was a replacement K-9 vehicle as our previous vehicle was 14 years old and recently suffered major mechanical issues. With the limited funds we had left from the Community and Business donations for the K-9 program Mike Dougherty General Manager and co-owner of Shults Resale on Vineyard Drive stepped up to the plate and found us a vehicle that fit our needs. He donated a large portion of the cost of the vehicle and Nathan Greene of Custom Collision donated the services to paint the doors white. By using a portion of the funds we receive from Asset Forfeiture as a result of Drug Arrests we were also able to purchase a specific K-9 insert for the rear seat of the vehicle that will keep our K-9 Nico safe when travelling and also allow our K-9 handler Officer Matt Hazelton to have access to Nico while on patrol and answering calls. We were able to purchase a few other needed pieces of equipment for the vehicle as well with our Forfeiture funds.

Without the generosity of everyone that donated to our K-9 fund continuing this program would not have been possible. There are no words that can express our gratitude and we offer our sincerest thank you to everyone that helped. It truly shows that our Communities care about Public safety and go above and beyond when called upon for help. K-9 Nico and Officer Hazelton have already been involved in several case investigations and have proved to be a very valuable asset to the Department and Community.

Again we want to thank Shults Resale and Custom Collision for their most recent donations. We also again thank all the previous organizations and individuals that helped to fund this entire program: The Fredonia Beaver Club, Mr. Stanley Star, Koscuiszko Club, Fourth Ward Falcon Club, Dom Polski Club, Moniuszko Club, Lake Shore Savings Bank, Graf Realty, Dunkirk Police Benevolent Association, Fredonia Police Benevolent Association, Lakeshore Street Rods, John T. Murray Post 1017, Fieldbrook Foods, Columbus Club, P&G Foods, Moose Lodge 89, Edna Sek, Tick Tock Towing, Elks Club, Dunkirk Exempt Volunteer Fireman, Dunkirk Rotary Club, Conservation Club, Cattaraugus County Bank and Tractor Supply. We also want to thank Dunkirk Animal Clinic for veterinary services and Nestle Purina for Nico’s food. Our appreciation to the City Administration for understanding the importance of the K-9 and working with us to keep this service part of our public safety program. Also thanks to City Mechanic Jason Schrantz and City Welder Ken Sek for their excellent work on getting the vehicle ready for service.

Our greatest weapon in crime prevention and providing the best in Public Safety is a positive Police/Community partnership with the Community we serve. Without your support keeping our K-9 program in service would not have been possible. On behalf of Officer Hazelton, Nico and the entire Dunkirk Police Department we say thank you.

David C. Ortolano
Chief of Police

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