This week, staff writer Laura Rysz talks with Officer Edward Frescoln about Scott Twp. Police Department’s ongoing fundraiser for the training of K-9 Nika and equipment for the department to accommodate a K-9.

Residence:Scott Twp.

Professional background:
Police officer for 16 years

Title:Police K-9 in-training handler

Q: Tell us a little about K-9 Nika.

A: Nika is a 5-month-old Belgian Malinois who came to us from a highly regarded and respected breeder out of Missouri. Once our funding goal is reached, Nika will be a cross-trained police K-9.

Q: What kind of training do K-9s go through?

A: Many police K-9s are trained in what is known as “dual-purpose,” meaning they are trained to serve two main purposes. Nika will actually be cross-trained for tracking, search and rescue, apprehension, narcotics detection and explosives detection.

Q: How are police K-9s an asset in the line of duty?

A: There is no other tool a police department can deploy more invaluably than a K-9. A trained police K-9 can detect and locate scents that the human body is physically incapable of, such as narcotics, explosives, lost and endangered persons, etc. A police K-9 can essentially see with its nose and can be deployed where it is too dangerous for its human counterparts to go. Police K-9s flat-out save lives — those of the community and those of their human counterparts.

Q: How will proceeds from the fundraiser be used?

A: All proceeds from our donation drive will be put to Nika’s lifelong official training and equipment expenses at a cost of $25,000. Equipment will be purchased, such as outfitting a patrol car so that Nika can be safely transported without being injured or suffering from the elements like overheating.

Q: Why is community support crucial to this cause?

A: This cause is being funded solely by community donations and, as such, it’s imperative to have the backing of the community. The positive response from the community to date has been overwhelming. Wherever I go throughout Lackawanna County, people are asking me how Nika is doing. Nika will not only benefit the residents of Scott Twp. but of all Lackawanna County.

To donate

Donations can be made payable to Scott Twp. (Attention Police K-9 Fund) and mailed to Scott Twp. Police Department, 1038 Montdale Road, Scott Twp., PA 18447. Donations also can be made through GoFund For more information, visit the Scott Twp. Police Facebook page or call 570-319-1296, option 5 (for police).