Mercyhurst University Introduces New K9 - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Mercyhurst University Introduces New K9

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There's a new member of Mercyhurst University's police force, and his services will help the entire Erie region.

We're not talking about your typical police officer.
On Friday, Mercyhurst University introduced a new K9 they've welcomed to their force.

Rico is a Belgian Malinois from Holland, trained in explosives detection and tracking.
Mercyhurst police officer, Brandon Miller is Rico's handler.
Rico and Miller recently took part of 5 weeks of intense training.

Rico will be housed at Mercyhurst University, but will be made available as needed to the Erie community, working in particular with the Erie police department's bomb squad.
Mercyhurst University got the dog thanks to $13,000 dollars in private funds, Senator Sean Wiley  secured that funding.

"Anytime you have an opportunity to make the community safer you have to take advantage of it," Senator Wiley said. "Police stations across the county are getting out of their K9 units, just because of the sheer cost. And when we have a chance to really add a regional asset to our public safety arena, we have to take advantage of it," Wiley continued.
"I think just the presence of him being there is a big factor for safety," Officer Miller said. "Just not on the campus, within the campus community, but he's a regional asset as well to all departments in Erie County, and he'll be used a lot," Miller continued.

The Erie police department currently only has only one K9 on the force, but it's a patrol dog, not for explosives detection. So, Erie Police Chief Randy Bowers says this dog will be a major asset to the city of Erie, "The nose knows. Dog's noses are known for everything from tracking, hunting, to detecting drugs and as this dog is trained to detect explosives. So there's no substitute for a good dog," Chief Bowers said.

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