NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 28, 2022) – Another four-legged crime fighter is helping New Philadelphia Police track down suspects and get drugs off the streets.
Cooper, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, was sworn in as the city’s second K9 officer last Tuesday. He and his handler, Officer Bradley Geist, make up the city’s second K9 unit, an addition Chief Mike Goodwin says will help combat the drug issues that have been plaguing the city.
“The big thing, hopefully, is the deterrence that you come through town and you are carrying drugs on you in your vehicle, there’s a good chance that now by having our second dog on the road and then the new one in Dover, that we pretty much have this area covered 24-7.”
Goodwin says it’s thanks to the generous businesses and community members who contributed the 22-thousand dollars needed to buy Cooper, get him trained and equip the cruiser.
“We reached that pretty quick. We had some people call towards the end and say ‘Hey, where are you at?’ And we gave them a number, and they said we’ll have the rest of that to you here in a couple of days, so [we] certainly appreciate the way the community stands up around here.”
A similar effort in 2019 paid for the department to acquire and train Diesel, the city’s other K9 Officer. He replaced K9 Pete, who retired after seven years on the police force.