The Harrison Township Police Department is holding a donation drive to support its young K-9 unit.
Township families who donate $250 or more have the chance to be among five who will meet the new K-9 unit team of canine Dunkin and his partner in crime, officer Greg Germscheid. The drive started on Nov. 5; families will be contacted the week of Jan. 2.
“Germscheid and Dunkin graduated from the 22-week Atlantic County John ‘Sonny’ Burke academy,” the department’s website notes. “Germscheid received the … Burke Award, which is given to the K-9 team that demonstrated the highest level of performance and dedication during their training.”
The K-9 unit relies on donations from the community to fund training.
“Donations help with training Dunkin, as well as providing food, veterinary care and special equipment,” said Capt. Adam McEvoy. “We would like to add another dog to the unit. We’re appreciative of all the donations we’ve received.”
The tour for donation drive winners will include an inside look inside at the special police vehicle that supports the K-9 unit, and the visitors will be able to take pictures with the German Shepherd and learn what he can do. Dunkin is dual trained in narcotics and patrol.
“I wouldn’t call him a mascot, as he is one of our officers,” McEvoy noted. “If there’s a township event or if a school has an opening, then we’ll do a mini-demonstration.”
The community can donate to the K-9 unit by checking its website. While the contest applies only to donations of $250 or more, the department takes any and all donations.
The Harrison police department’s unit was established in February, with Dunkin – who was born in Hungary in 2020 – its first officer. It was founded with donations provided by the late Kenny Patel, who owned two Dunkin’ franchises in Mullica Hill and saw the unit’s creation before he died. The canine’s name is a tribute to him.