PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — They are swift, obedient and now they are ready to patrol the streets.
Topper, Max, Jolie and Murphy graduated from the Penn Vet Working Dog Center’s K-9 Patrol School Tuesday. Siblings Jolie and Murphy are now the newest members of the Warrington Township Police Department.
“We hope to get them on the road in the next couple weeks,” said Chief Daniel Friel.
Thanks to community support, the department was able to raise about $40,000 in six weeks to get the dogs.
Chief Friel says its been more than 30 years since the force has had the help of a police dog.
As new challenges surface every day, the chief says, it is time.
“There is an opioid epidemic going on. So, one of the dogs will have special training in narcotics,” said Friel.
The K-9 patrol school has a rigorous curriculum.
“It takes understanding and bonding between the handler and the dog first,” said Bob Dougherty, the law enforcement canine coordinator.
The dogs had to complete 400 hours of training over the course of 10 weeks.
Before joining their handlers, the dogs lived with foster families. Trainers say that helps improve the dogs’ socialization skills.
Ashley Nieves got emotional as her foster dog took the stage.
“We’d go hiking together, camping together. We did everything together,” said Nieves.
While she will miss Jolie, there is comfort in knowing the dogs will help keep the region safe.
SEPTA Transit Police and Upper Moreland Police Department are each getting a police dog as well.