Thanks to the altruism of several Miami Beach residents, the Miami Beach Police Department will be able to add 3 new police dogs to their team. The department already has eight dogs which are currently used to sniff out bombs or drugs.
Residents, Dana and Peter Catalano, formed an invitation only, fundraising group that specifically raises money for K-9s, called The Miami Beach K9 Knights. They raised the $18,000 needed to purchase two dogs.
The police department uses these specially trained dogs for criminal apprehension, narcotics detection and other criminal activities. According to a police study, law enforcement agencies with specially trained canines have proven to be an effective means to discourage crime and to hinder criminal activity including illegal narcotics activity and the apprehension of those people who commit crimes.
Long time Beach resident and owner of Mango’s Tropical Cafe on Ocean Drive, David Wallack, and health-book author Richard Schulze partnered together to donate the $9,000 needed to purchase an additional dog.
This is the second dog Wallack has donated. His first was just after 9/11 when his restaurant experienced a bomb scare.
“There was a suitcase laying in the alley by Mango’s one day. And so immediately someone went up to it and said, ‘It’s vibrating.’ And so here come Miami Beach police and everything is evacuated for a block,” Wallack told the Miami herald. “It took four hours to get a bomb dog from Miami or wherever it was. … It did point out that Miami Beach needed its own canine, bomb-trained dog.”
The department will choose a breeder in the upcoming weeks and then training will begin. The new dogs are highly anticipated and will round out the team.
“It helps out the officer. It helps out the canine officer. That canine team forms a bond,” said Captain Henry Doce. “They’re like our kids.”