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K-9 officer, partner to visit Connellsville Crime Watch

| Saturday, March 29, 2014, 1:06 a.m.
Courier File Photo
Perryopolis police dog Mako gets some love from his owner Jason Hayes while they were visiting during Pioneer Days in the borough. Hayes and Mako will be guests at the upcoming meeting of the Connellsville Crime Watch.

Connellsville Crime Watch organizers are preparing for the organization's first meeting of the year, which will include a visit from a K-9 dog handler and his partner.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 9 in city hall.

Cpl. Jason Hayes with the Perryopolis Police Department and a Fayette County Drug Force officer will be on hand, along with his partner, Mako, a 2-year-old Belgium Malinos.

Dan Cocks, who along with Perry Culver are organizing the event, said Connellsville police Chief James Capitos arranged for Hayes to visit.

“I expect it to be very interesting and encourage everyone to attend,” Cocks said.

Capitos said Mako and Hayes have aided the Connellsville police in the past, including during a recent search when police were looking for suspects in a pizza delivery robbery.

Hayes has been with the Fayette Drug Task Force for many years and last year the department thought that the addition of a K-9 dog would be a great asset to the streets of the county, but the question was how could they raise the needed funding.

But a generous donation from Dr. Charles and Alison Tucker of Rostraver Township made the reality of the K-9 occur much quicker.

Mako was certified in narcotics and has been put to work when and where he is needed, working with Hayes on his shift in Perryopolis and also all throughout the county.

Mako is a part of Hayes' family, sharing the home with wife Amber and their chocolate Lab, Coco.

Capitos said during the upcoming crime watch meeting the new curfew ordinance will be discussed as well as how police plan to enforce it.

He said as the weather gets better, he and Vern Ohler, street department foreman, will be putting up Guardian Crime Watch signs around the neighborhoods.

The organization is sponsoring a day trip on June 21 to Washington.

The bus will leaveConnellsville at 6:30 a.m. and return about 9 p.m. The bus will let the group off at the Washington Crime Museum. After a self-guided tour of the museum, participants are on their own to tour other sites.

“The money raised on this trip will be donated to the Connellsville police fundraising for new bullet-proof vests. Additional initiatives of Connellsville Crime Watch include the printing of Crime Watch brochures and the kickoff of a McGruff Program for our community. Folks can then look for McGruff at upcoming Connellsville festivals.” said Cocks. Connellsville Crime Watch will support and celebrate National Night Out on Aug. 5.

The next crime watch meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8 in city hall.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer. Mark Hofmann, Trib Total Media staff writer, contributed.

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