Our History

The city of Reading Police Department has a long and respected history of service to the community with its K-9 Unit. In 1961, Patrolman Russell R. Claytor Jr. took a K-9 training class in Baltimore and returned to Reading prepared to start a new K-9 Unit. Supported by then Chief Charles S. Wade and Mayor John C. Kubacki, The Reading Police “Canine Corps” started with just four dogs: Cosmo, Schnitzel, Rock, and Fritz. The program lasted until 2004, budget cuts forced its closure in a round of civic belt-tightening. However, public outcry soon forced a change in the strategy, and the K-9 program was re-launched in 2008, as it became clear the city of Reading needed the extra protection afforded by a K-9 Unit. Have a look at these historic images from Reading’s past, as an illustration of what Reading Police K-9 Unit does today, to protect us all.