CARBONDALE, Pa. -- Back in October, Newswatch 16 introduced you to Carbondale Police Department's K-9 Axel and the national contest he was participating in. The contest is now over, and Axel and the Carbondale police are now being recognized as one of the tops in the country.
Axel is a one-and-a-half-year-old giant schnauzer trained in narcotics detection, apprehension, and tracking.
Most recently, Axel is a national contest runner-up and the recipient of a pretty large check.
Aftermath Services works with families dealing with trauma. This is the 10th year the company ran the contest and gave away grant money to the winning K-9 police departments.
"We work with law enforcement all over the country. We have a staff of former officers who work for us, and we have a relationship with police all over the country," said Aftermath Services CEO Doug Berto.
K-9 police departments had to be nominated by their community. Once Axel entered the contest, his partner, Patrolman Robert Williams, did the rest.
"Social media, we looked out to you guys, social media, everyone we could think of. We went on social media forums for giant schnauzers, police K-9s, everything we could think of we did," said Ptlm. Williams.
This year, there were 400 applicants, and Carbondale and Axel came in second place.
"It's awesome. It's kind of mind-blowing to think little Carbondale put on the map at this point, so we're excited."
Aftermath Services presented Axel, Patrolman Williams, and Carbondale's police chief with a check for $4,000 as the second-place prize.
"We're solely based off of donations, so this is a big help for us. All of our stuff, the equipment, the dog purchase, the training, is all based off donations we get from the community, so this is going to help us big time," Williams said.
Officials with Aftermath Services, the company that ran the contest, say with 400 applicants and almost 500,000 votes cast, this is the biggest turnout in the 10 years they've been running the contest.
Larksville's police department in Luzerne County won the same contest last year.