The Brookfield Police Department is purchasing a new vehicle for the K9 Patrol Unit. The 2018 Ford Police Interceptor Utility and associated set-up gear costs $71,333. The money is coming from the PD Outside Services Fund. The move was approved by the Boards of Selectmen and Finance.
Police Chief Jay Purcell says these vehicles last longer than normal patrol cars because its a single user. He notes that it's not unusual for small departments to have multiple K9 officers, several other area police departments, including Newtown and New Milford, have multiple K9 officers.
Purcell says the cost seems high, but it's a full patrol vehicle. It is the 11th vehicle in the fleet. The vehicle will include a radio, computer, in car cameras, console, sirens, lights, cage and the K9 equipment. It also includes something called a K9 hot pop system. If the officer is out of the vehicle and has an immediate need for back up from his partner, the officer has a panic button-type device that pops the door open and the dog can come out.
The vehicle is atmosphere controlled. The officer has telemetry. A device on their phone can tell what the temperature is inside the vehicle, and if it goes above a certain level, an alarm will go off.
Five out of 21 shifts a week have a K9 officer on patrol. The second K9 means almost half of any given week will be covered by a K9. The K9 officer is used for narcotic detection, search and rescue, patrol and tracking Alzheimer's patients or other wanderers.