Newest township police K-9 is a female bloodhound
The Washington Township Police Department is growing by four paws with the arrival of K-9 Red.
Red is a 10-week old female bloodhound who flew the week of June 19 from Washington state to Newark in her own crate carrier. She will work with her handler, officer Devin Bauman, to track missing persons; assist with search-and-rescue efforts; apprehend fugitives; and help the department achieve its goal of community caretaking, according to Police Chief Patrick Gurcsik.
Red and Bauman start training at the police academy this fall. Meanwhile, the two are getting to know each other while the officer socializes Red at home and at community outreach events.
“Last year, we investigated 150 missing person calls,” the chief said. “These are priority calls, because time is always of the essence. There’s no waiting period to report a person missing and anyone can be a missing person. It is not just limited to children. Besides children we also investigate many adult persons with Alzheimer’s or dementia who walk away from their homes or care facilities.
“Having K-9 Red readily available living and working in town will help us achieve success 100 percent of the time,” Gurcsik added. “Red and officer Bauman will also be available for use by neighboring communities in Gloucester and Camden County who need help searching for missing persons.”
The police department’s K-9 unit was implemented in 2006 and is funded through donations from residents and businesses big and small, according to Gurcsik.
“We have six K-9s on the force including four German shepherds, one Black lab and now our very first bloodhound,” he explained. “Our German shepherds are versatile and assist in any area of police work, from protecting our officers, protecting our community, sniffing out drugs and articles to apprehending fleeing suspects. They also can search for missing people.”
One department K-9, the black lab Vino, likes going to “class.”
“He specializes in community caretaking and absolutely loves children,” the chief said, “making him a constant regular in all our schools.”
The department constantly seeks grant funding opportunities for its K-9 unit.
“We were able to purchase Red with a $10,000 grant that was awarded to us by AKC Re-Unite,” Gurcsik noted, referring to the American Kennel Club’s pet recovery service.