FRANKLIN — The City of Franklin recently welcomed a new member to its police force on February 24, when Max, a 16-month-old black German shepherd, was officially assigned to the City of Franklin by the NH Police K9 Academy in Portsmouth.
The Franklin Police Department has been in line to receive a K9 for some time now, visiting the K9 Academy each week, patiently waiting for a dog that would pass muster and then be assigned to them.
Max passed all the required tests and has been partnered with Officer Adam Donnelly of the Franklin Police Department. Max and Officer Donnelly will continue to attend trainings at the Portsmouth K9 Academy every Monday to hone their skills. Max brings a variety of capabilities to the Police Department as K9 teams are trained in agility, to search for contraband, track suspects, find articles and assist with apprehensions. The K9 team will work closely with the SRO and DARE program to coordinate efforts both in terms of enforcement and education as well as the preventing drugs from coming on to school campuses.
"The addition of a K9 unit to the Franklin Police Department is a very positive move," says Franklin Police Chief David Goldstein. "Most criminals would rather submit to arrest than to risk being taken down or bitten by the Police K9. Having a K9 present helps lessen aggression levels, keeping situations from escalating and protecting our officers from harm."
Bringing Max to Franklin has been a community effort, a mission accomplished through a combination of fundraising, donations, and grant acquisitions. The Franklin Mayor's Drug Task Force raised more than $4,000 by hosting a retirement event for Councilor Bob Sharon. This included a sizeable donation from the Hope Community Chapel. Councilor Sharon was one of the original members of the Franklin Mayor's Drug Task Force. As a tribute to his many contributions the event proceeds were donated to the K9 program in Councilor Sharon's honor. An additional raffle for an iPad Air by the Task Force raised another $2,000. The Working Dog Foundation provided a $7,000 grant, and various other donations to the City on behalf of the K9 program have been instrumental in bringing Max to Franklin. Dr. Barry Taylor of the Franklin Veterinary Clinic has pledged full support for routine and emergency care of Max, another key component to making this project happen.
The Franklin Mayor's Drug Task Force will continue to fundraise to sustain the K9 Program and residents can look forward to the Annual "Bow-Wow Ball" as a fun community event. Additional grant dollars are also actively being sought.
Members of the community are invited to attend the next open meeting of the Franklin Mayor's Drug Task Force for an opportunity to meet Max and Officer Donnelly. The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 13 at 5 p.m.at the Franklin Opera House and light refreshments will be served.