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Fratelli’s Italian and Seafood presented a supersized $15,000 check to the Westminster Police Department Friday. Chief Thomas Ledwell, owner George Sakellis and Capt. Nikki Heuer (left to right).
Fratelli’s Italian and Seafood presented a supersized $15,000 check to the Westminster Police Department Friday. Chief Thomas Ledwell, owner George Sakellis and Capt. Nikki Heuer (left to right). (Leah Brennan / Carroll County Times)

Westminster Police Department could soon have a drug detection canine assigned to its street-level drug unit, thanks to a donation from Fratelli’s Italian and Seafood in Hampstead.

The restaurant — which offers a variety of Italian classics, crab cakes and more — presented a supersized $15,000 check to the police department Friday.

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“We’re very appreciative,” WPD Chief Thomas Ledwell said. “It means a lot to us because it will allow us the opportunity to get something that we otherwise didn’t have budgeted.”

Pending approval from the Westminster Mayor and Common Council, the department intends to use the funds to purchase the dog, pay for the training of a dog and a handler, the initial certification and, potentially, things like a cage for a police vehicle or related equipment, Ledwell said.

The department currently has one police canine — Foxy — assigned to a patrol squad, but she has to “rotate around with the squad,” and thus is not always available, he added.

“This will afford us the opportunity to have the utility of a police canine whenever our drug unit is working,” Ledwell said.

The establishment wanted to make the donation, which has been in the works “for a few months,” to Westminster Police Department because it’s the “heart of our county," said George Sakellis, a Fratelli’s owner.

Once the department has its new four-legged member, Sakellis said they hope to take another celebratory picture — this time, with the dog.

“It’s the best feeling in the world, it really feels good,” he said. “I didn’t expect Fratelli’s to be as busy as it is now. It feels good that we have a company that can help the community as much as we just did.”

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