WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Crime has become a hot-button issue and now one local police department is looking to tackle crime by expanding its K-9 unit.

Wilkes-Barre City Police Department is looking to grow its K-9 unit by four legs and a tail and maybe more.

Joseph Homza and his k-9 partner, chase, have been a dynamic duo in the city since 2016 when they went through extensive training together.

“I mean literally with me 24/7, 365. At home, at work, training. We train together. Yeah, he’s my dude,” said Joseph Homza, a patrolman, and K-9 handler.

Chase is the only dog you will see patrolling city streets.

But they are hoping to make more additions to this K-9 unit. Chase, how do you feel about that? To which he replied by barking.

Joseph is working to expand their team and hopes to add at least two new dogs and handlers, but funding is critical.

“It’s really up to us, the department, the community. Like last time, we received a very generous donation for Chase from Motorworld Toyota. And uh that’s really what propelled the K-9 unit back in 2016,” Homza said.

Joseph is applying for grants that will match up to 75 percent cost of the dog.

“And hopefully this is a look into the future of us getting back to that at least 3 dogs, possibly more,” said Homza.

Securing the money needed is just the beginning, then hundreds of hours of training will help mesh them as a team.

The Wilkes-Barre Police Department is looking to add new members to its K-9 patrols within the next few months.