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Support the paws that enforce the laws

A fundraising effort is underway to help the Pittston police replace K-9 officer Blitz when he retires.

PITTSTON, Pa. — The silk-screening presses are busy at the Embroidery Factory on Market Street in Pittston, where workers are making sweatshirts and t-shirts for a fundraiser for the Pittston Police Department.

"Yeah, it is really nice," said Embroidery Factory co-owner Elise Nemetz. "We're really happy with how everything turned out. It's exciting. It's exciting for them, it's exciting for us, you know, as a business going through the pandemic and everything, so this was this was a really cool thing."

All of this is because of a good boy named Blitz, a K-9 in the Pittston police, who is thinking about retirement. Police in Pittston are working with folks here at the Embroidery Factory to make sweatshirts and t-shirts for a fundraiser for Blitz's replacement.

"It's awesome. We like the logo on the Embroidery Factory came up with it," said Pittston Police Chief Neil Murphy. "The logo, you know, 'Support the paws that enforce the laws,' and people seem to like it, and then it's been a very big hit so far."

The police chief says Blitz is about two years away from retirement, but they're starting the fundraiser now to get the new dog, Fritz, trained. That way, it is a smooth transition when it's time for Blitz to leave the force.

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"It's a very, very big financial commitment. The total cost, people don't realize by the time you find the dog, train the dog, and find the police insert, the equipment for the dog, it can be nearly $30,000 by the time it's all said and done. Which is why we're doing the fundraiser because it takes the burden off the taxpayer, it takes the burden off the administration," explained Chief Murphy.

But the chief says the new K-9 will have some shoes to fill.

"He's served the department and the community admirably. There's never been any issue at all with Blitz. We use him as a dog that we conduct our search warrants for, drug search, tracking people, helps us find weapons. He's been a wonderful asset to our department," added Chief Murphy.

If you'd like to support the department, you can visit the online store here.

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