Crescent Cities Charities gives $10K to CPD

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Representatives of Crescent Cities Charities, Inc. (CCC) visited Cambridge Police Department Headquarters on Thursday to deliver a $10,000 check to Chief Mark Lewis and his officers, for the purchase and training of a new dog. From the left are CCC Vice President Steve Novak, Capt. Louis Nichols, CCC Board Member Paul Baiers, CCC President Wilbert Lewis, Chief Lewis and Capt. Justin Todd.

CAMBRIDGE — After the loss due to illness in February of the Cambridge Police Department’s only K-9, Dani, officers were faced with the task of raising a substantial sum to replace her. Crescent Cities Charities, Inc. (CCC) answered the call Thursday, with a check for $10,000.

The money will cover purchase and training of the dog, which is brought from overseas.

“What a tragedy it was for the officer and the dog,” CCC Vice President Steve Novak said, as he presented the check to Chief Mark Lewis. Dani’s handler was Pfc Mark Shayne.

“We get a lot of requests, and this just jumped to the top,” Mr. Novak said. Considering the value of a police dog’s work, he added, “We consider this almost life and death.”

“We really appreciate it,” Chief Lewis said. “It comes as a great gift to us.”
And right on time, it seems — the department has no money in its budget for a new dog, so in one move, the CCC’s donation solves the problem.

The animal is already trained and is being shipped now, to a dealer in Salisbury. Once the animal arrives, his handler will spend a further eight weeks of training with the dog, so they form a bond as a team.

Most of the cost involved is for the purchase, but the $10,000 will cover training expenses as well.

CCC, based in Prince George’s County, was formed after the sale of a nursing home. Proceeds from that sale are being distributed in donations.
CCC has budgeted $1 million for distribution as grants and scholarships in 2020, furthering the group’s mission of public service. Most of the gifts go to organizations in or near PG County, but through local contact Paul Baiers, funds have also found their way to Dorchester.

As for police dogs from foreign countries, especially Germany and the Czech Republic, there’s a good reason for that: The animals arrive able to respond only to commands in the language of their home country.

That means that after the handler picks up the new vocabulary, only he or she will be able to direct the dog — not a suspect or bystander, who might otherwise shout a false command in English to confuse the animal.

To learn more about CCC or to apply for a grant or a scholarship for a high school senior, visit