Springfield Township acquires new K-9 vehicle for police

Carolynn Mostyn
Suburbanite correspondent

SPRINGFIELD TWP. Officer Shawn Brady and his side kick and partner, Brodie, are happy to have a new vehicle for their work as the K-9 unit for the Springfield Township Police Department.

Springfield Police Department’s new canine vehicle along with the Canine Committee members (from left) Sgt. Joseph Gaffney, Kellie Chapman, Officer Shawn Brady, Kate Thurston and K-9 Brodie.

The Springfield Township Board of Trustees approved to enter into an agreement with Enterprise Fleet Management to lease a 2020 Chevy Tahoe to be utilized primarily as the K-9 vehicle, in addition to serving as Brady's patrol vehicle.

The previous K-9 vehicle, a 2014 Dodge Charger, was acquired through donations from the Slider family, which owns Forever Fitness along with Haasz Automall of Ravenna. The vehicle has more than 103,000 miles. The Police Department recently invested $1,000 in repairs.

Springfield Police Chief Jack Simone said that replacing the vehicle before incurring those anticipated expenses is usually the better practice, especially when they begin to meet or exceed other criteria such as life expectancy, mileage and reliability.

It is anticipated that the vehicle will last for 10 years because it will be primarily used for the K-9 officer. The Police Department established a K-9 Committee to subsidize the department’s K-9 unit in 2017. Springfield Police Sgt. Joseph Gaffney and Brady coordinate unit and are directors for the committee. Also functioning as directors on the committee are residents Kellie Chapman and Kate Thruston. This team of officers and volunteers have worked to raise funds for the program. The committee has agreed to contribute $10,000 per year toward the lease of a 2020 Tahoe through donations from local businesses, along with other fundraising efforts. The Police Department will contribute the remaining cost for the yearly lease of the vehicle.

Simone said the unit has a positive impact in the township. It serves the community in assignments such as drug enforcement, search and rescue and apprehending fleeing suspects.

Brady and Brodie are credited with the seizure of several pounds of illegal narcotics since the team was created. Recently, an incident occurred that involved Brady and Brodie arresting a felon residing in a suspected drug house. According to Simone, Brady attempted a traffic stop on the suspect’s vehicle. The man fled from officers in his vehicle and subsequently crashed on Arlington Road. After crashing his vehicle, the man fled on foot and only stopped running when he realized the Brodie was about to catch him.   

Getting the unit started and keeping it running is no small feat. The cost of the K-9 program includes purchasing Brodie, regular veterinary visits, food, along with fitting a specialized patrol vehicle for the officer and canine. It also requires specialized equipment. They need training sleeves, leashes, harnesses and a bullet-resistant canine vest. 

Springfield Police say it has worked hard to maintain the program and it has been proven to be an important tool utilized by the police to combat crime and build community relations. The department’s goal is to continue to provide the significant service to the citizens and businesses of Springfield Township and, to seek assistance from the community to continue to fund this program.

For those in the community that have not yet met Brady and Brodie, it is common for the partners to be on hand to meet and greet the public at local community events.

Simone said he wanted to make the public aware of the work the Canine Committee does and to showcase the new cruiser they have worked to help financially support.

The Springfield Township Canine Committee will continue its fundraising efforts to offset the costs associated with purchasing and outfitting the new police cruiser. Simone said the Department is grateful to those who have supported the K-9 program in the past with the purpose of maintaining the department’s current level of services.   

To contribute to contribute to the efforts of the Canine Committee, contact Thurston at 330-319-4136 or email vaspkate@gmail.com.

The new 2020 Chevy Tahoe that was acquired for the Springfield Police Department's K-9 unit.