By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item
— SUNBURY — Flags are at half-staff in the city today to honor fallen officers during National Police Week. On Monday the flag served two purposes as Sunbury Police Chief Steve Mazzeo announced the untimely death of Brecken, the 2-year-old German shepherd who was the department’s K-9 dog.
Brecken, was acquired by the department in January after Northumberland County President Judge Robert Sacavage and chief probation officer John Wondoloski decided to donate the dog to the city.
Brecken was introduced to Sunbury patrolman Scott Hause, the departments K-9 handler, to be trained. Hause and Brecken got off to a great start after being introduced to each other, Hause said. Brecken was certified in drug detection, tracking and protection.
Although Brecken was not used in any city drug busts, Wondoloski said Brecken recovered drugs and helped the probation department track individuals when probation officers are in search. Wondoloski named three cases where Brecken helped the county.
“Brecken entered a house in Sunbury and was able to recover a sizable amount of cocaine and drug”
paraphernalia,” Wondoloski said. “In another case Brecken was used in a home and was able to locate the drug ‘spice’ as well as other drugs. Brecken was used in the county prison and at several school districts across the county to also locate drugs.”
In one case Brecken was able to help put some much-needed funds back in the Northumberland Montour County Task Force account, Wondoloski said.
“Brecken went in residence and located $1,000 in cash,” he said. “The dog was able to smell drug residue on the hidden cash.”
Wondoloski was sad to learn of the death of Brecken.
“This is very sad because Brecken was like one of the staff,” he said. “He was part of us.”
Brecken died while off-duty at the Hause residence where the animal was living, Sunbury Police Chief Steve Mazzeo said
“The dog was part of the Sunbury police family,” Mazzeo said. “My condolences go out to officer Hause and his family.”