A former police chief in neighboring Mercer County is accused of stealing money donated to train canine officers.
According to State Police, 34-year-old Tyler Valimont of Farrell is accused of taking thousands of dollars collected from over 30 individuals and local businesses to support the training of his own personal dog to do police work.
Valimont, of Mercer County, was chief of the Stoneboro Police Department from Aug. 2015 to Aug. 2016. He was arraigned Wednesday on felony theft charges and bail was set at $10,000.
According to a police report, while Valimont was chief, he had a personal dog that he wanted to have trained and certified for drug detection work. He approached the Stoneboro Council in early 2016 and asked for funding for the training, but was denied.
He then began a fundraiser of his own to raise the money, according to police. He created an online fundraising page and also approached local businesses and residents to ask for donations.
Donations allegedly came in from the Mercer American Legion Post 159, the Greenville Moose Club, and the Black Funeral Home in Stoneboro. To date, police say only a $100 deposit has been used for the training. None of the victims have had their money returned.