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Police, community raising money to train K-9

Jax is an 8-month-old German shepherd. He's set to be the second police dog the Hughestown police department's ever had.

HUGHESTOWN, Pa. — The Hughestown Police Department has a new recruit, and you can say he has a ton of energy.

Jax is an 8-month-old German shepherd and is being kept at the Milnerhaus Kennels in Throop. He's set to be the second police dog the Hughestown Police Department's ever had.

"It's been a lifelong dream of mine to be a K-9 officer. In Hughestown borough, I got hired full-time about four months ago, and I am the narcotics officer up there, so I'm handling all the narcotics-related incidents, and there's local police departments in the area that are currently getting K-9s, so I mentioned it to the chief, and he was really behind it 100 percent," said Officer Gilbert Diaz, the Hughestown K-9 officer.

But to get Jax on the force isn't cheap.

That's when Antonette Scialpi and Courtney Keezer stepped in to start a GoFundMe.

"She's right next to the police department, and I'm right across the street, so being that we see all of the work and all the hard work that our police do. We're the ones right there watching it, in the action, right from our front doors, so to bring a police dog home and help the force, I think, is just going to make our community that much better," said Antonette Scialpi.

Jax is still considered a puppy, and his K-9 handler says he still has a ton of training ahead of him to become a big bad, crime-fighting dog.

"The training is very extensive. It's about eight months to a year worth of training. That includes patrolling, and that includes narcotics," Officer Diaz said. "The dog will have both dog purposes there. So approximately a year to get him on the road, and once he's on the road, we're going to do continued education. We're going to be training constantly."

The Hughestown Police Department is also selling gear, and a community fundraiser is planned for September.

All the money will go towards training and equipment for Jax.

"Our K-9s are our heroes, and many people don't realize what they have to endure. They definitely go through a lot," Officer Diaz said.

Jax is scheduled to begin working for the Hughestown Police department in October.

You can purchase a shirt or sweatshirt here.