WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — People laced up their roller skates Thursday night at Skateaway in Wilkes-Barre and spent time with members of local law enforcement, including Pittston City’s new police dog Fritz, and Pittston Township’s K-9, Sasha.

They even demonstrated live police K-9 exhibitions to the crowd.

“It’s a great way for the animals and the people to get together and interact with the police officers, and get to know us, we get to know them, and it just makes for better, stronger community relations,” Pittston City Police Department Chief of Police Neil Murphy said.

The Skate for K-9s fundraiser was made possible by sponsors like Donnie Evans, who organized the event.

“We gotta give back. And they put their life on the line for us, we gotta give something back to them,” Evans said.

The money raised will go to the K-9 units of the Pittston City and Pittston Township Police Departments. Pittston Township’s Chief of Police Lena Angelella says the funding is vital because of how these K-9s assist police with tasks in the force daily. She is looking to add another K-9 soon.

“The dog acts in several different ways. It’s a great binder with the community, with the police department, and it’s also great for helping with drug work, patrol work, and finding missing people, and there’s just many uses,” Angelella said. “Our department is growing, our town is growing, and we’re gonna grow along with it and I want to add a second K-9 to our unit.”

Murphy says he’s thankful for the overwhelming turnout and is pleased with how well both departments work together.

“It clearly shows tonight, people in this area do support their local police departments,” Murphy said.

If you couldn’t attend the event, donations can be made by sending checks to Pittston City Police Department, c/o K-9 Unit, 35 Broad St., Pittston, PA 18640 or Pittston Twp. Police K-9 Fund, 417 Broad St., Pittston Twp., PA 18640.