The Gaithersburg Police Department is adding another police dog thanks to the generosity of the Gaithersburg Police Foundation (GPF).
“The second canine team will enhance our service to the citizens by expanding the hours of canine coverage in the city,” said Gaithersburg Police Chief Mark Sroka. “As a result of the outstanding partnership with the Gaithersburg Police Foundation, the addition of a second dog will expand our capability to conduct building searches, track lost individuals, and assist uniformed officers in searching for suspects involved in criminal activity.”
City Manager Angel Jones confirmed that the GPF is covering all costs, “including feeding, vet bills, etc.” She said Montgomery County pays for training at no cost, and she said canine officers are not compensated more. “Schedules are adjusted to reflect time spent with dog, minimal impact to staff.”
The breed of the city’s newest dog will be determined once police pick a handler. Officers have been notified of the new position so they can apply if interested.
In May of 2008, Gaithersburg Corporal Chad Eastman partnered with Max, a Belgian Malinois who is cross-trained for both narcotics and patrol use. City officials say that canine unit has resulted in 122 searches and 18 arrests.
The city of Rockville already has two canine units, Rocko and Corporal Dickerson (narcotics and search capabilities) and Boomer and Corporal Marshall (bomb detection and search capabilities), serving its city limits, according to Chief Terry Treschuk.
Mayor Sidney Katz said he thinks this will be the first time Gaithersburg has utilized two city dogs in its crime fighting efforts.