K9 unit returning to Abington Police

Abington Police has received a grant from a national non-profit that will allow the department to bring back its K9 unit.

The Stanton Foundation awarded the Abington Police Department a $27,500 grant, Deputy Police Chief Chris Cutter told selectmen Monday night. The funds will be used to offset the cost of buying and training a dog, purchasing needed equipment, and training the dog’s human partner as well.

Officer John Sayers has been named the department’s new K-9 officer. Abington Police operated a K-9 unit for many years until it was eliminated by budget cuts in 2009. Officer Wayne Paige was the town’s previous K-9 officer.

In an interview with Abington News, Cutter said restoring the K-9 unit will add to the department’s capabilities, such as drug investigations and finding missing persons. Currently, Abington Police have to request that a police dog be brought in from a surrounding community, or from the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department.

“We can get a dog but it can take 30-45 minutes before it gets here,” Cutter said.

Abington’s police dog will be chosen with help from the Boston Police Department K-9 team.

The Stanton Foundation, which was created following the death of longtime CBS executive Frank Stanton, also provided the $17,210 grant that funded the Abington Dog Park.