Knightdale looking to add K-9 training facility near greenway

07/25/2014 5:24 PM

07/25/2014 5:25 PM

The town’s four-legged police assistants may be getting a new, local training facility that also helps create a police presence near the front of the new Mingo Creek Greenway.

Knightdale Police Chief Jason Godwin came up with an idea for a K-9 training facility at Mingo Creek Park, the area at the corner of Laurens Way and Parkside Commons Drive and the beginning of the Mingo Creek Greenway.

The complete plan would also include some sort of playground, funded by the Parks and Recreation Department.

Right now, there are two basketball courts, but other than that, it is an empty piece of land that has often attracted younger residents, where they have been violent and destructive in the past, Godwin said.

By putting a training facility there, he said it would make the space more visible and ideally, cut down on some of the problems on the empty land.

It also would benefit the town’s two-officer K-9 unit.

Currently, the department’s two canines, Knighla and Echo, and their handlers, officers Kevin Jorgenson and Kevin Bobbitt, have to travel for training since the town doesn’t have its own facility.

The proposed facility would be open for other agencies and the public would be allowed to observe, although residents’ dogs would not be allowed in the facility.

It would include agility activities so Knighla and Echo could exercise and continue training. The dogs are trained in apprehension, tracking and drug detection, a skill that will help pay for the facility.

Godwin said the project, which will total about $11,000 for the police department, will be paid for with money received through drug seizures — an operation that requires Knighla and Echo’s help.

Money from drug seizures is already budgeted and doesn’t require council’s approval to be spent, but Godwin is taking his time to inform elected officials and staff of the plan.

There is no set date for the facility to open and be operational, but Godwin said once the design is done and town officials are informed, the project will move forward.

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