He isn’t red, and he’s an average-sized Belgium Malinois, but his name is Cliff.
That’s the soon-to-be newest member of the Washington Township Police Department, a K-9 expected to fill the place of Kobe, who spent nearly a year on the force from 2011 to 2012.
Cliff, along with his owner, Officer Mike Thompson, will enter the training academy April 1 and is scheduled to graduate June 1.
The entire program, however, is being paid for by Thompson himself, and not the department or town. All required equipment for the K-9 Unit was previously secured by Officer Peter Cecere, who is now retired.
Other expenses, however (veterinarian bills, housing, food), are being taken on by Thompson. The costs for the academy and other expenses are in the area of $12,000, Thompson said.
Residents interested in helping this cause can send or drop-off donations to the Washington Township Police Department, care of Washington Township PBA Local #301. The mailing address for the police department is 1 East Springtown Road, Long Valley, NJ 07853.