OFFICER … Pioneer Police Officer, Randy Mills who is experienced in K-9 Unit Programs was assigned future K-9 Unit named Vader. (PHOTO BY LINDSAY PHILLIPS, STAFF)
By: Lindsay Phillips
As a village that continues to grow each year the need for a strong police presence grows as well.
One department that continues to strive toward advancements for optimal public safety is the Pioneer Police Department.
The most recent effort the department has made to accomplish extra safety in the town, is to start the early stages of adding a K-9 Unit Program.
At the October council meeting a unanimous vote was had passing approval for the Pioneer Police Department K-9 Unit Program.
After approval was given, Officer Randy Mills did extensive research to gather information on how to make the program happen.
During interview with Police Chief Timothy Livengood and Officer Randy Mills, Chief Livengood shared, “We are in the process now of reaching out to the community and soliciting donations to help fund and support the program which ultimately allows the community to play an active roll and part in our police department.”
“We think that is a huge benefit for the community.” Although waiting on grant money, Livengood stated, “We are at a point where we are already receiving donations from the community, so that shows their support for their law enforcement and some of those donations have been pretty substantial.”
Money designated toward the K-9 Program goes into equipment needed such as a specific police vehicle with the necessary designs to hold a K-9, dog supplies and training.
A total start up cost estimated at approximately $70,000 dollars is needed to provide those things.
Officer Mills, who is the assigned K-9’s Officer has been with the Pioneer Police Department since April of this year.
Mills was a Military Police Officer and has about seven years of previous experience in law enforcement including that with K-9 Units.
The K-9 is currently being trained in narcotics, tracking, officer protection and area search in Michigan at Magnum K-9 Training by Scott Laroe.
Each year the police department will have to receive a certification on these training courses required by the state of Ohio.
Pioneer Police Department will be receiving a Belgian Malinois and has named their dog K-9 Vader.
Chief Livengood stated, “Having a K-9 allows us to be very diversified within the agency, it allows us to have another tool at our disposal to not only do certain aspects of the job, but also it’s a very community oriented program.”
Livengood went on to add, “We do demonstrations in the community, we’ll have the dog go through the school, we’ll have the dog go through factories, one is prevention and two is a safety measure.”
As K-9 Vader is assigned to Officer Mills, he will be by his side at almost all hours including going home with him after the work day is done.
Both officers are hoping to have the K-9 Program up and running by 2023.
Lindsay can be reached at email@example.com