Pennsauken students craft agility course for police K-9s

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. (WPVI) -- Pennsauken High School carpentry students have been carefully crafting an important design for months. The Pennsauken Police K-9 unit will be the happy recipients of an agility course made especially for them.

Monty, a narcotics detection dog, and Officer Joe Hurley are members of the Pennsauken Police K-9 unit. They are grateful for these students and their hard work on this agility course.

"This is great that the kids are actually helping us do this," said Officer Hurley.

Officer Hurley explains agility courses are imperative for training the dogs, but they're also expensive. Hurley had been talking to the school district superintendent about it, and the idea of students building the course for the Pennsauken Police force was born.

"He said I believe we can do that in our wood shop. I said fantastic idea," Hurley said.

It's a learning opportunity for the students and for the dogs.

The agility course teaches K9s the basics, like obedience, obstacles and search patterns.

"You transfer the search patterns you learn from the boxes to a building," Hurley said.

As for Monty and the A-frame, "He will actually scale the top of the A frame," said Hurley.

The carpentry program is part of the school's Career and Technical Education.

Curriculum opportunities include welding and electrical construction, among other options.

These classes provide students training in possible career paths and in this case help the broader community.

Principal Richard Bonkowski explained, "We have the best interest in our kids and community. What better way to get started than with the police?"

Senior Nijul Crawford added, "We're going to be able to go to the police department and see the dogs use what we built for them."

There's an official ceremony to present the obstacle course in May for National Police Week.
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