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Donations sought to fund Sharpsburg K-9 unit

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, 4:12 p.m.
Sharpsburg Police Officer Jeff Hussar speaks to council about bringing a K-9 program to the borough. Council approved the proposal in a 6-1 vote on July 20, with Brittany Reno dissenting.
Christine Manganas | For the Tribune-Review
Sharpsburg Police Officer Jeff Hussar speaks to council about bringing a K-9 program to the borough. Council approved the proposal in a 6-1 vote on July 20, with Brittany Reno dissenting.

Sharpsburg police will no longer have a GoFundMe account for its drive to raise money for a K-9 unit in the department.

“Due to the fees and charges for the GoFundMe, we have decided to close the account and place the funds into Northwest Bank,” Chief Tom Stelitano said.

Donations can be sent to the Sharpsburg municipal office at 1611 Main St., or to Northwest Savings Bank at 905 Main St.

Costs are expected to top $14,000 for food, training and equipment. About $1,000 has come in so far.

Council on July 20 voted 6-1 to add a K-9 unit to the force and is hoping to have the dog on duty by mid-2018.

Councilwoman Brittany Reno voted against the proposal.

Officer Jeff Hussar will work with the dog once it joins the department. Hussar will be required to complete a six-week course at Shallow Creeks Kennel in Mercer County.

A K-9 police car is also necessary and is expected to cost about $40,000. It will have automatic doors, a special cooling system, caged seating and window fans. The borough plans to cover the costs with grants and fundraising events.

Hussar said the police dog will be effective for daily patrols and for narcotics investigations.

“We want to thank everyone who has already donated to our goal and cannot wait to get the K-9 unit up and running to help keep Sharpsburg and surrounding communities safe,” he said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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