The Tyrone Borough Police opened the August 12, Tyrone Borough Council monthly meeting with a demonstration from the department’s newly sworn in K-9 officer, Getro. After the presentation, where officer Getro successfully located the presence of planted drug paraphernalia within the council chamber, Police Chief John Romeo told members of the council that the department plans on having Officer Getro around for a long time.

“Hopefully we get from seven to 10 years out of him. The average is about nine,” Romeo told council members after the presentation. The police chief continued and clarified that the reason for that specific time table is simply normal wear at tear, “Just imagine, he’s sitting in the patrol car, basically standing the whole time, going on hot calls, what do you do when your hips are getting bounced around.” Romeo continued to explain that there is a concern for hip dysplasia in Getro’s breed. According to Romeo, right now the x-rays show no signs of the ailment, but they won’t know for sure until the K-9 officer reaches two years of age. “Right now, the dog is fine, but they want to do another set of x-rays next June, just to make sure.”

Continuing off of Chief Romeo’s comments, Officer Traci Winters, Getro’s handler, added that, while Getro has received some of the best training around, he is still a puppy.

Winters also clarified that, because he is still young, it will be a few years before Getro gets outfitted with the traditional K-9 ballistic vest, telling council members, “Some people have asked me, while we were out and about, if we’re going to get him a vest,” later explaining, “Right now, he’s still growing, we’ll have to wait until he’s about two years old before we can even get him sized for a vest.” Winters also told council members about organizations that sponsor K-9 units with grants, so that when the time comes, the department might be able to have part of the cost of Getro’s vest covered.

After the demonstration and brief explanation, Winters led Getro out of the council chamber and Mayor Latchford officially called the meeting to order. Later in the meeting, Chief Romeo returned to the podium to answer questions about his official report, which was dated 5, August.

According to the report, which details the police activities for the month of July, the department answered 496 calls and racked up a total of 6,560 miles. Those calls and miles all resulted in 34 criminal arrests, 78 parking tickets, and 96 traffic stops, which resulted in 50 traffic citations. The DUI Task force accumulated 4 hours, and the drug task force logged 3, resulting in 1 DUI arrest by borough police.

A breakdown of the calls received by the department revealed that first shift, which runs from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., received 131 calls; second shift covers from 3:00 p.m. from 11:00 p.m. and received 239 calls; and third shift covers the difference, running from 11:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. and answered 126 of the 496 total calls.

K-9 officer Getro, and his handler officer Winters, completed their training at Shallow Creek Academy, which is an elite training center that has police canines certified throughout the country and is located in Sharpsville. Getro was sworn in by Mayor Latchford on August 7, and has already made an impact on the department.

Joe Miller can be reached at jmiller@thedailyherald.net.

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