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Ogdensburg police start its first K-9 unit

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OGDENSBURG - The Ogdensburg Police Department will start the new year by setting up its first K-9 unit to battle drug trade in the city.

The program was unveiled Thursday with a $12,000 federal forfeitures check from St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole M. Duve and Kodiak, a nine-month-old black Labrador retriever owned by Patrolman Mark T. Kearns, who will be the police department’s K-9 team.

The $12,000 will cover the estimated $8,500 expense of starting up the program, which includes training for the dog and Mr. Kearns, equipment such as an aluminum cage to be fitted into a patrol car and maybe two years of carrying it at $1,000 to $1,500 annually.

“This will get us started,” said Police Chief Richard J. Polniak Jr., hoping that the annual costs will be a line item in his department’s budget by the time the $12,000 is spent. “This is a very effective tool.”

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