The Winnipeg Police Service and Mayor Sam Katz broke ground Friday on a brand new state-of-the-art home for the Winnipeg Police Service K-9 unit and nationally recognized breeding program.
The 4,500 square foot facility, will be located at 77 Durand Road, adjacent to the East District Police Station, and will house the K-9 units 23 canines.
The facility will feature eleven air conditioned kennels with attached dog runs and special kennels for puppies with an indoor puppy run.
Mayor Sam Katz says that the facility is important because of the work that K-9 dogs do for the community.
“These dogs, with the support of their trainers, very much serve and protect our community,” said Katz. “They are experts and chasing and holding suspects, searching buildings, locating evidence, finding missing persons and detecting narcotics and explosives.
“The K-9 unit with its 23 dogs and 12 police officers is responsible for an average of 350 arrests a year.”
Winnipeg Chief of Police Keith McCaskill admitted there have been delays with the project, which was approved by Winnipeg City Council back in 2010, but also said the project still has a guaranteed price of $1.25 million and will be a first class facility when it is completed.
“We would have liked to have it sooner, but at this stage we’re going to have the facility the city needs and the police service needs,” said McCaskill.
The project is expected to be completed by the winter of 2013.
Info Box: Winnipeg has the only municipal police department in Canada that runs its own canine breeding program.