UNION COUNTY, NJ — Working alongside Union County K9 Unit Sheriff Brian Howarth, Brendan Karolchyk, of Lake Hopatcong, designed and built a shed for Union County’s K9 Unit as part of his Eagle Scout project. Karolchyk is a member of Boy Scout Troop 81 of Sparta. The project took Karolchyk months to complete.
When Howarth was contacted by LocalSource, he was unavailable for comment prior to press time.
“The project took four to five months to complete,” Union County Sheriff Joe Cryan told LocalSource over the phone. “The shed is used to store our equipment, and we have a lot of it in the K9 unit. We have a lot of training materials and protective suits that we store in the shed. It allows us a lot more free space.”
The shed is outfitted with K9 bite suit dryers and storage areas for other equipment. Contractor Charlie Bautz, County Concrete of Ledgewood, Quality Fence of Ledgewood, and Karolchyk’s father, Scott, and his stepmom, Sharon, also helped turn his idea into a reality.
“The shed helps us keep the unit organized, which is important because it helps us function more efficiently,” Cryan told LocalSource. “We keep machinery in there as well. It’s been a big help. The K9 Unit is also a training facility, so there is a lot of training material we keep in this unit. It’s built in our canine area and we are happy to have received such a useful place to store our equipment.”
The K9 Unit’s assignments include searching buildings, locating missing persons and detecting narcotics. These duties also require bomb investigations and patrol functions. These types of assignments require numerous training materials that need to be properly stored and accessed, making the shed a useful new addition to Union County’s K9 Unit.
Union County’s K9 Unit has hosted the recertification training program for all of northern New Jersey. It takes place in the spring and fall, and the dogs practice criminal apprehension, biting, tracking and simulated box-and-building searches. It’s a two day event that requires a lot of training apparatuses and an organized space.
The new shed is complete with a window and blinds. It matches the tan color of the Boy Scout uniform and is a sufficient size to store numerous materials. The gear for training is especially essential for this department of the sheriff’s office and it will certainly serve an important purpose in keeping the K9 Unit operating efficiently and effectively in the future.
Karolchyk has become an Eagle Scout and will celebrate his accomplishment this coming January. According to the National Eagle Scout Association’s website, Eagle Scout is the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. A Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service and outdoor skills to achieve the rank.