Keep K-9 officer in Plum Pennsylvania

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PLUM, Pa. —
Plum council members voted Monday to eliminate K-9 Voda, whose duties consist mostly of narcotics searches, from the borough's police department.
Voda's handler, Officer Lee Temple, said he had no idea the vote was coming. He called it a loss, not just for Plum, but for several communities as well.

"We do drug searches in the school. We interact with the kids," Temple said.

Temple is one of 73 master trainers in the country through the North American Police Work Dog Association. In addition to Voda, he trains officers from two dozen local departments. That work will also stop when Plum ends its K-9 program in January.

Borough Manager Michael Thomas praised Temple for doing "a fine job" but said the council decided that Plum needed to put its resources elsewhere.

"What we've been hearing from our residents is about traffic, about speeding, especially in residential areas, so one of the things we decided to do was focus more resources on traffic enforcement," Thomas said.

Temple said the K-9 program isn't an expensive one to keep, as he gets veterinarian bills and dog food donated. He thinks having a K-9 on duty makes a difference.

"These dogs will lay down their lives for an officer, and for the public, and to keep me safe, so I believe we should keep the dog here in Plum," he said.

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