Toys & Training

Financial institution helps Westmoreland park police buy tools for police canine Rico


Westmoreland County Park Police’s sole police canine, Rico, obtained a present Thursday to assist along with his coaching, due to 1st Summit Financial institution.

Rico, a German shepherd and Belgian Malinois combine, is 1½ years outdated and educated to seek out explosives and weapons, in addition to in monitoring and apprehension.

The canine started serving after Rex, the division’s first explosive detection canine, retired from service in February following a decade of responsibility.

The $1,000 donation will go towards two items of kit — an explosive detection odor equipment and an artificial rubber coaching arm, in accordance with Officer William Meyers of the Westmoreland County Park Police.

Because the canine’s handler, Meyers, of Hempfield, mentioned Rico comes house from work with him day-after-day. Rico lives with the Meyers household, and each are on name 24 hours a day, as they’re “normally … the primary ones on the market wanting.”

“It’s like having eyes behind your head always,” Meyers mentioned. “He’s very observant and protecting of me and my household.”

Meyers, who’s been an officer for 15 years, mentioned he’s “very appreciative” of the donation.

“I believe it’s excellent,” Meyers mentioned. “They stunning a lot got here to us and mentioned, ‘Hey, can we show you how to with something?’ and also you don’t see that too typically.”

Janeen Moffa, vp and senior regional enterprise relationship supervisor at 1st Summit Financial institution, was the one who initially approached the park police.

“I reached out to them to see if they’d a necessity for something … and thankfully, they did,” mentioned Moffa, of Latrobe.

Moffa mentioned 1st Summit Financial institution determined to “(open) up the door” for this donation and different partnerships transferring ahead as a result of it’s increasing into Westmoreland County.

Sean McCool, public relations and communications supervisor at 1st Summit Financial institution, mentioned it’s necessary to have partnerships locally like this to “know that somebody has your again.”

“We’re small, however we’re rising,” mentioned McCool, of Johnstown, concerning the financial institution. “We simply wanna attempt to … discover alternatives to provide again to organizations and people who want it within the space.”

The brand new equipment will embrace 23 totally different explosive odors, Meyers mentioned, and the rubber coaching arm will carry a “extra sensible strategy” to apprehension coaching because it resembles a human arm.

“It retains the canine targeted on biting the unhealthy man moderately than biting tools, so when he will get into the true life state of affairs, there’s no confusion,” Meyers mentioned. “Typically, canines fail to chunk the unhealthy man as a result of … they don’t see the tools.”

Beforehand, Meyers solely had entry to this tools two instances a month whereas coaching Rico in Allegheny County with the Metropolis of Pittsburgh Police’s Ok-9 unit.

Now, Rico will have the ability to obtain the coaching every time it’s vital.

McCool mentioned it was “cool to have the ability to discover an actual want” moderately than making a “basic donation.”

“These guys … they’re placing their lives on the road, so why not assist them as a lot as we will?” Moffa mentioned.

Megan Swift is a Tribune-Evaluate workers author. You possibly can contact Megan at 724-850-2810, mswift@triblive.com or through Twitter .



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