April 15 marked 48 years since Bensalem Township Police Officer James Armstrong was shot and killed as he investigated an armed robbery. His partner Shep was also shot that day, but survived.
On the morning of April 18, Mayor Joseph DiGirolamo and director of public safety William McVey dedicated the new Bensalem Township Police K-9 Kennel in the name of Armstrong.
Armstrong was an early member of the Bensalem Police K-9 Unit and served with his K-9 partner Shep. A spare K-9 run in the facility bears the name of Shep.
Since Armstrong’s tragic death, the Bensalem K-9 unit has continued to serve the community with distinction, with over 50 police service dogs in the department’s history. The current unit is comprised of six working dogs and is commanded by Lt. Mike Schum. They are trained in patrol duties, narcotics detection and explosive detection.
Some of their work over the years includes:
– 200 criminal suspect searches with 59 apprehensions
– Zero K-9 bites in all these apprehensions
– 30 firearms recovered
– 300 narcotics searches
– Thousands of pounds of narcotics seized
This state-of-the-art facility will provide a training space, kennels, outdoor runs and other amenities for the Bensalem Township Police K-9 Unit.
Members of the Armstrong family were present for the ceremony, and were treated to a tour of the facility and a K-9 demonstration. The event was also attended by council members, residents of Bensalem and township police officers.