Softball game helps fund Manheim’s K9 program

By on July 29, 2015

Donning a bullet-proof vest and tethered to keep him safe, Bayne can search a home faster than an officer, his bosses said.

Bayne is a 3-year-old part German shepherd and Belgian malinois mix, who is a K9 officer with the Manheim Borough Police Department. His canine handler is Sgt. Aaron Szulborski.

But having a K9 officer is not cheap. And so far, the Manheim Borough has funded the cost through fundraisers and donations, such as the second annual softball game on July 22, Mayor Scott Funk said.

Manheim Borough Police Department Sgt. Aaron Szulborski greets the crowd with K9 Officer Bayne after a demonstration at the softball game July 22.

Manheim Borough Police Department Sgt. Aaron Szulborski greets the crowd with K9 Officer Bayne after a demonstration at the softball game July 22.

Police officers competed against members of the high school basketball team at Veterans Memorial Park across from Manheim Central High School. The police officers started strong. In the end, the teens pulled out and crushed the cops: 19-6.

Manheim Borough Police pay about $5,000 a year for the care of Bayne. The initial cost for the K9 program was about $15,000, Funk said. He goes for training two times a month.

Bayne is a diligent officer, who is worth every penny, Funk said.

With a bite suit to protect him, Manheim Borough Officer John Hoffner helped demonstrate the power of Bayne, Manheim Borough Police Department’s K9 officer. Bayne’s canine handler, Sgt. Aaron Szulborski, behind, maintained control with commands.

With a bite suit to protect him, Manheim Borough Officer John Hoffner helped demonstrate the power of Bayne, Manheim Borough Police Department’s K9 officer. Bayne’s canine handler, Sgt. Aaron Szulborski, behind, maintained control with commands.

“He’s made many busts as far as drugs go,” Funk said.

The softball game raised nearly $1,100. Add in contributions from businesses, and the figure jumps to about $5,000, Mayor Funk said.

When he’s not on duty, Bayne lives with Sgt. Szulborski and his family.

“He’s a total sweetheart,” he said.

But on duty, he knows that Bayne has his back. Bayne knows if someone is approaching the vehicle long before he does, he said. He will start growling, Szulborski said.

Bayne’s sense of smell has helped bust people for heroin. He can also locate wanted suspects.

“He tracked a guy for a mile and found him in a drainage pipe,” he said. “He was wanted for a probation violation.”

The man had fled from law enforcement. But Bayne found him.

Members of the Manheim Central High School basketball team watch their teammates compete against officers from the Manheim Borough Police Department at the annual fundraiser July 22 for the department’s K9 program. High school student Jeremy Landis leans against the fence, and Evan Hosler smiles as their team scores more runs against the police.

Members of the Manheim Central High School basketball team watch their teammates compete against officers from the  Manheim Borough Police Department at the annual fundraiser July 22 for the department’s K9 program. High school student Jeremy Landis leans against the fence, and Evan Hosler smiles as their team scores more runs against the police.

Bayne will retire in five or six years. The borough will likely consider adding a new dog while Bayne is still on duty, so there isn’t a gap in service, Funk said.

The borough is grateful for local providers who help donate some of Bayne’s care such G&G Feed & Supply and White Oaks Veterinary Hospital, Funk said.

The mayor’s parents, Frank and Sandra Funk, were among the dozens in the crowd at the fundraiser. They loved the old-timey feel of the softball game. It reminded them of when they were younger &tstr; of simpler times, they said.

“It is just like when we were kids, and you could go watch a good game,” Sandra Funk said.

Manheim Borough Police Chief Joseph Stauffer looks to his left to see if he is out as he runs toward first base at the annual fundraiser softball game July 22. Money from the event goes toward funding the department’s K9 program.

Manheim Borough Police Chief Joseph Stauffer looks to his left to see if he is out as he runs toward first base at the annual fundraiser softball game July 22. Money from the event goes toward funding the department’s K9 program.

Mr. Frank Funk said, “We think this is great seeing the interaction between the police and the kids.”

After the game, Sgt. Szulborski demonstrated the power of a K9 cop. Manheim Borough Officer John Hoffner walked out on the field in a bite suit pretending he was a suspect. Bayne’s ears pulled back immediately. He knew something was up, but he waited for Szulborski’s signal. Once the dog received it, Bayne launched and wouldn’t release until ordered.

Bayne is a valued member of the police department, Chief Joseph Stauffer said. Bayne can search for drugs, suspects, survivors.

“Bayne is on call for the police department and has been used throughout Lancaster County,” Stauffer said. “Bayne is ready to serve his community and makes daily sacrifices to keep us safe. And much like a police officer, he has a family, he plays with kids and loves to be with his best friend, Sgt. Aaron Szulborski.”

Lancaster Barnstormers mascot Cylo sits with the crowd and watches the softball game between the Manheim Borough Police and Manheim Central High School basketball players on July 22. Money from the event benefits the police department’s K9 program. (Photos by Robyn Meadows)

Lancaster Barnstormers mascot Cylo sits with the crowd and watches the softball game between the Manheim Borough Police and Manheim Central High School basketball players on July 22. Money from the event benefits the police department’s K9 program. (Photos by Robyn Meadows)

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