At 14 months old, the newest member of the police department is just a puppy. Soon, he’ll be a well-oiled crime-fighting machine.
“Right now we’re just doing basic obedience,” says Minneapolis Police K9 Officer Eric Lukes. “He’s just getting into it. He’s still a puppy…still doing some puppy things.”
The dog’s name is Bullet and he’s in the middle of ten weeks of intensive training for new police dogs.
Bullet has big paws to fill. Last November officer Lukes lost his K9 partner. He and ‘Chase’ responded to a burglary call. While searching the roof, Chase heard something, jumped a barrier and fell three stories to his death.
“By the time he jumped it was too late,” says Officer Lukes.
Deputy Daniel Lopez and his dog Solo have seized more than 1,300 pounds of marijuana since being matched up in January.
“He’s great,” Lopez said. “He is very social and loving and he loves to work. Solo is an all-round, nice dog. He meets the same standards as the other dogs I’ve had.”
The K-9 unit at the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is putting a bigger emphasis on drug enforcement.
Lopez has been a deputy for 10 years and in law enforcement 12 years. In 2004, he became a K-9 officer and has had several dogs since then.
Solo, a 3-year-old German shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix, is a large dog, weighing nearly 95 pounds. He was born in the Czech Republic and brought to the United States when he was 2.
Solo and Lopez were trained at the Worldwide Canine center in Spring Branch, Texas.
The Portage County Sheriff’s Department will soon have a new K-9 unit.
The department has been without a K-9 unit since December, when their last K-9 officer took a job with a different department.
Portage County Sheriff John Charewicz announced this week the department has selected Deputy Dan Wachowiak to be its new K-9 officer, and has placed an order with an Indiana kennel for a new dog.
Wachowiak, who has been with the department since 2000, interviewed for the post along with four other officers, Charewicz said.