Bath group donates $5K for Steuben K-9 unit

Andrew Poole
Steuben County Sheriff Joel Ordway accepts a check from Debbi Deats, middle, and Sheri Nobles, of the Bath Revitalization Group.

Thousands donatedby community groups to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office will help deputies take a bite out of violent and narcotics crimes in upcoming years.

Funding for a canine for the sheriff’s office took a leap forward Tuesday when the Bath Revitalization Group presented Sheriff Joel Ordway with a $5,000 check.

The group added an additional $1,050 thanks to the Steuben County Veterans Memorial, Inc. and Jaida Smith, a Florida fifth grader and granddaughter of other contributors, who donated $50 of her Christmas money.

Others contributing included the Bath Kiwanis, Hornell IOOF Lodge, the Knights of Columbus, the Steuben Trust Company of Hornell, and other businesses and associations.

Sheriff Joel Ordway, himself a canine officer for four years, said dogs serve as partners for some deputies and are instrumental in preventing people from resisting arrest, particularly at night.

The dog, which Ordway is hoping will already be trained before its arrival, will be used for narcotics enforcement and tracking people.

The county is an ideal trafficking site for narcotics dealers because it has three major corridors in Interstate 86, Interstate 390, and U.S. Route 15, said the sheriff.

“(Narcotics dealers) can get on, get off, and back to wherever they’re going,” he said.

With donations covering the tab for the canine unit, it should come at a minimum expense for taxpayers. It will also help the sheriff’s office, which could be facing a reduction in road patrols with Steuben County dealing with budget issues.

Still, statistics have shown that while violent crime is down in New York, it’s increased in Steuben County.

“We may lose officers (because of budget issues), and that’s not a bad thing for taxpayers,” said Ordway. “But violent crime is up. Losing resources isn’t a plus. Adding the dog will help.”

Ordway is hoping the money will be raised and the dog with the sheriff’s office by spring.

Anyone looking to donate money for the canine unit can make checks out to the Bath Revitalization Group and mail them to Debbi Deats at 116 Freeman Terrace in Bath.