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Citizens group raising money to boost Reading police K9 force

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 25 2013 04:41:03 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 25 2013 06:09:09 PM CDT

K9 officers help take a big bite out of crime in Reading.

READING, Pa. -

K-9 officers help take a big bite out of crime in Reading.

But soon, a group of those officers will be retiring. Replacing them will not be cheap, but one group is hoping to raise enough money to do just that.

Friends of Reading K-9 Police made their presence known around Reading Friday afternoon. Three of the city's K-9 officers recently retired and the department needs to raise enough money to replace them.

"They sniff out bombs, drugs and people. You know, they are just great and the city needs that," said Hector Dorta, with the Friends of Reading K-9 Police.

Dorta came up with the fundraising idea after seeing Reading firefighters do it a few months ago. But when he first told the Friends of Reading K-9 Police committee about his idea, some had doubts.

"When Hector first suggested collecting money at a street corner, I guess we were all pretty skeptical. We did not think it would happen. But people, like always, have been very very generous to us," said Norm Schmidt, with the Friends of Reading K-9 Police.

It costs about $30,000 to purchase all three dogs that are trained, and they are hoping to raise about $5,000 through this fundraiser.

"We have got three dogs working now and they are taking up a lot of the work load. So it would be better to ease them up and get them three dogs as soon as possible," said Dorta.

Now, the Friends of Reading K-9 Police are hoping the generosity keeps flowing so that the department can continue fighting crime with these pups. They will be out at the intersection of 11th and Rockland streets Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.