Lexington Police break ground on new K9 facility

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Lexington Police Department and City officials broke ground on a new facility for the Canine Unit Monday.

Mayor Linda Gorton joined Chief Lawrence Weathers announced the start of construction for the new 3,800 square-foot kennel.

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“Just like their human counterparts, our K9 officers work and train each day to keep Lexington safe,” Mayor Gorton said. “This new, long-awaited kennel will allow the Canine Unit to expand, while providing a more comfortable and efficient space for officers.”

Officials say the new kennel is being built on land owned by the City near Old Frankfort Pike and Alexandria Drive.

They say it will replace the existing kennel at 1313 Old Frankfort, which was built by officers in 1968 and currently houses 12 canines.

A 13th canine in the unit stays at its handler’s home because there is no room at the kennel.

“The Lexington Police Canine Unit was the first of its kind in Kentucky, and our current facility is showing its age,” Chief Weathers said. “In recent years, we’ve had to rely on space heaters in the winter to keep the dogs’ water bowls from freezing. The new facility will be less stressful for the dogs and hopefully extend their length of service.”

In 2018, the Canine Unit was called out for 800 incidents, 66% of which involved narcotics. Officers provided sweeps of major public venues and events.