Toms River Police add a new K-9 team to its ranks - and the furry half of the unit arrived through the generosity of employees at Community Medical Center in the township.

Surrounding Brutus (c) are (l-r): Jean Flaherty, Community Medical Center; Toms River PD Sgt. James Reilly; Chief Mike Mastronardy; Rick Pallamary, CMC Foundation (Community Medical Center)

Workers passed the hat in a campaign they called "Cash for a K-9," raising $5,000 that enabled Brutus to be part of the seventh graduation class at TRPD's Canine Academy. Brutus was one of a graduating class of five.

"Our staff wanted to give back to the community in a unique, long-lasting way, and in the process, we have been able to show our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the Toms River Police Department," said Community Medical Center President and Chief Executive Officer Stephanie L. Bloom.

Sergeant James Reilly guided the Netherlands-born Brutus through the 16 weeks of obedience, agility, and scent identification.

CMC workers also contribute to annual dune grass plantings, school supply drives, holiday toy collections and the Healthcare Harvest Food Drive, which has added 100,000 pounds of nutrition to area food banks in the past six years.