YORKTOWN, N.Y. – The Yorktown Police Department welcomed its newest member last week, as K-9 Officer Dallas took the oath of paw-fice.
The introduction of Dallas, named for five on-duty officers who were killed in a 2016 ambush shooting, signals the return of the department’s K-9 program, which existed for nearly 40 years before it was halted in 2014.
Police Chief Robert Noble, who took command last year, said restoring the program was a priority of his. At town hall, Noble introduced a half-dozen officers who participated in the program in those 40 years, also listing the names of the K-9 officers they served with.
“The men who stand before you took on a commitment with year-round responsibilities, both on- and off-duty,” Noble said.
Since Aug. 8, Dallas has been patrolling Yorktown with Police Officer Thomas Beyrer, a lifelong Yorktown resident and three-and-half-year veteran of the force. Beyrer will receive an annual $3,832.50 stipend in his new role.
“As a lifelong resident of this community, he has expressed a strong desire to pursue and arrest those who choose to bring narcotics into this town,” Noble said of Beyrer.
Beginning in July, Beyrer and Dallas took a month-long K-9 handler course in North Carolina, where the two bonded and learned necessary skills. Noble said Dallas “graded out as an excellent narcotics detection” dog.
“While I hope Officer Beyrer and Dallas have a productive career filled with quality investigative arrests, just their presence alone will serve as a deterrent to narcotics dealers and traffickers who may choose to travel through or set up shop in our town,” Noble said.
The purchase and care of the new K-9 officer was made possible through several donations. The Yorktown Citizens Task Force Against Heroin, founded by Councilman Tom Diana, donated about $10,000 toward the purchase of the dog.
“It’s the small steps like this that are going to get us big results,” Diana said.
Also contributing money and supplies were: Eric and Liz DiBartolo (a bulletproof vest, leashes and collars); John Recchia of DAS Auto Parts; John and Laura Pizzella of Pizzella Brothers contracting; John and Pattie Cerbone of JCM Racing (dog food for 2018 and 2019); Douglas Ofner and family (emergency heating and cooling sensor for the vehicle); Yorktown Animal Hospital (discounted rates for veterinary care); and Dominick Sansotta of Keevily Coverage Group (dog food for 2017). Pet Supplies Plus has also offered to donate or discount materials when needed and the Mohegan Lake Volunteer Fire Department has offered to donate a vehicle, Noble said.
“If it weren’t for this group of good folks, we’re not standing here with this beautiful dog who’s going to work hard for this community for the next eight to 10 years,” Noble said.
Through a $10,000 grant from state Sen. Terrence Murphy, the police department is expected to add another K-9 officer in 2018, Noble said. That dog is expected to be paired up with Officer Michael Campion.
Beyrer thanked everyone who supported the revival of the K-9 unit.
“Hopefully we can just do the best we can, safeguard the community and make this town the great town that it is, in addition to what it already is,” Beyrer said.