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Grant to Allow Florence Police to Gain Another K9

The Florence Police Department was awarded a $14,500 grant from the Matt Haverkamp Foundation to cover the cost of a new police dog, Chief Tom Grau announced this week.

The money will cover the cost of the dog, which will come from Shallow Creek Farms in Pennsylvania, as well as six weeks of training for the dog and an officer handler.

Florence currently has two K9s in the department, with both working third shift. Det, a German shepherd, and Karma, a malanois, are trained in track and apprehension, and drug detection. The new K9 will be assigned to second shift and will also be dually trained in those areas.

Grau said that he has not yet assigned an officer to the new K9.

Captain Greg Rehkamp said there is a need for a police dog on second shift.

The officer is expected to be chosen by early April, and then will travel to Pennsylvania to meet with multiple dogs to see which responds the most positively.

The foundation is named for a Golf Manor, Oh. police officer who died in an off-duty accident in 2005.

In other news from this week's Florence city council meeting, an ordinance was adopted allowing fireworks retailers to stay open until 1 a.m. during the two weeks leading up to Independence Day (July 4). The ordinance will also allow retail sales of fireworks till 1 a.m. for the three days leading up to Labor Day and New Year's Day.

It was announced that Chief finance officer Pat Wingo will be the main speaker at a program on Main Street revitalization at the Main Library in Burlington at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 21.

The annual Easter egg hunt will be held on Saturday, April 20, at 11 a.m., at UC Health Stadium. Doors open at 10 a.m.

Councilman Gary Winn announced that there will be a Youth Mental Health Summit at Florence Baptist Church on Mt Zion Road on Friday, March 29 from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, March 30 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor