Ithaca Police Department gets a new team member

By Anna Kuskin

March 28, 2014 Updated Mar 28, 2014 at 8:22 PM EDT

Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton) After 8 years without a K-9 Team, the Ithaca Police Department will be re-establishing a K-9 Program in the upcoming months.

The IPD has raised $50,000 in the past year through a Homeland Security grant and private donations, in order to fund start-up costs for the program.

Bert, a German Shepard, is currently in an intensive, eight week patrol training certification program alongside Ithaca Police Officer Pat Kimmich.

According to Ithaca Police Officer Jamie Williamson, the training will allow the dog and his handler to "develop that trust and develop that working knowledge of how each other works, and that working relationship--so that they can do what they need to do in regards to police function."

Once Bert and Kimmich complete training, members of the Ithaca community can expect to see the K-9 Team at festivals, sporting events, community relations events, and other activities that draw large crowds. The team will assist in building searches, suspect aprehension, explosive detection, and searches for missing persons.