Fontoura outlines plan to make joint K-9 task force in county

A German shepherd wearing a law enforcement badge sits in front of an Essex County Sheriff's vehicle.
Photo Courtesy of Essex County Sheriff’s Office

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — On July 17, Sheriff Armando Fontoura today outlined a new initiative in law enforcement and public safety. The initiative, which is expected to be implemented Jan. 1, will create a shared services K-9 task force between Essex County and its municipal police departments.

Fontoura said the proposed K-9 task force would operate along the lines of the shared services public safety network already employed by the county with its Bureau of Narcotics, Office of Emergency Management and Office of Homeland Security.

“Our department has previously trained thousands of first responders in emergency management and homeland security response techniques and in the target-hardening of our critical infrastructure,” Fontoura said. “We’ve also trained scores of local police departments in the latest narcotics investigating skills. Turning our attention now to a K-9 task force should be a manageable and successful matter.”

The Essex County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit was established in 1987.

“With the threats we face today from home and abroad it is time to bring our municipal police departments up to date and have those departments participate in what can only be viewed as a win-win situation for all,” Fontoura said.