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Middlesex police to get new K-9 dog

Middlesex Township’s previous K-9, Mibo, who had been with the department since 2015, died Aug. 14 of a “medical emergency,” according to the department. Eagle file photo

MIDDLESEX TWP — Middlesex Township Police Department will soon have a new working dog on the job.

Supervisors approved K-9 officer Mark Heider to reserve a spot for a new K-9 unit police dog at a meeting Wednesday night.

The township’s previous K-9, Mibo, who had been with the department since 2015, died Aug. 14 of a “medical emergency,” according to the department.

The board did not make a decision on what type of dog to bring in, and plans to discuss further on whether the township would be better served by a bomb-detection dog or a narcotics dog.

The two types of K-9 have different types of training, and Mibo was a bomb-detection dog. Heider said he was comfortable with either type, as long as the dog can do similar levels of day-to-day work as Mibo previously did.

“I could care less whether it is an explosives or a narcotics dog,” he said. “My primary concern is that the dog has the patrol capabilities that our former dog had, meaning that I can back up our guys on the road when I need it, I can do a track of a lost person or a suspect when I need it, I can find a gun when I need it. That’s my concern. His detection, what he is detecting, is secondary.”

Heider said funding for the new dog had already been secured through several pledges, enough to cover the initial purchase, and initial operational expenses.

“There has been a great outpouring,” he said. “I got a lot of phone calls.”

A new dog will cost somewhere between $17,000 and $35,000 initially, he said, though he expects to be able to reuse some of the equipment he had for Mibo.

The township will decide what type of dog the department will choose at an upcoming future meeting.

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