The Utica Police Department will soon be welcoming a new officer to the force - a K-9 named Dak.

Dak, whose name is drawn from Adirondack Bank - which paid the full $8,000 needed to purchase the pooch - will work in narcotics detection and is set to join the department this September. The K-9 and his partner, UPD Officer Kyle Piersall, will undergo 15-weeks of training together in a program administered by the Oneida County Sheriff's Office.

Dak is a Czechoslovakian Shepherd and will become the fourth K-9 on the Utica Police Department, officials said.

In presenting a check to the UPD on Monday, Adirondack Bank CEO and President Rocco Arcuri said when was approached about providing a donation to help cover the cost of the K-9, he pledged the full $8,000 because he recognized securing additional sources of funding may be difficult in the ongoing pandemic. Arcuri added the decision to support the K-9 purchase was made because of how impactful 'Dak' can be in the community by keeping drugs off the streets and away from children.

from left: Utica Police Deputy Chief Ed Noon, Adirondack Bank CEO/President Rocco Arcuri, UPD Officer Kyle Piersall, and UPD K-9 'Dak'. July 27, 2020 (Jeff Monaski, WIBX 950)

Utica Police officials say two other K-9's already on the force are also trained in narcotics detection. Another is trained to detect bombs and explosives.

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