Two new K-9 officers started working the streets last week.
German Shepherd’s Max and Rex completed a training course with their handlers during the fall in order to start work this year.
Max and his partner Cpl. Anthony Stachowiak fill the positions held by Ricky and Cpl. Jim Szuba, who were killed last year in a car crash.
“You never replace a person or even a K-9 officer. We just look at it more as we have an opening so we’re going to move forward with that. There’s no replacing what we had before,” said Chief Ken Witkowski.
Stachowiak and Max were paired in August after many community fundraisers. The two then began an intensive 13-week training program with the South Bend Police Department.
“They did an excellent job with us, being very patient with us also because we had a lot to learn and I feel much more prepared than I did then,” said Stachowiak, who has never had a K-9 partner before.