Reminderville -- There soon will be a new furry face keeping vigilant watch over village streets with the commissioning of K9 Jager as the Reminderville Police Department's new police dog.
A resolution to commission Jager, a one-year-old German shepherd, as a canine officer with the department was approved by Village Council on Nov. 26.
Police Chief Jeff Buck said Jager is certified by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission and will continue his training as a general-purpose patrol dog over the next several months.
"He's certified now but he will be able to hone and refine those other skills over the course of the next six months to a year," Buck said.
"In two years, they're usually fully operational. Those dogs also have to practice and train each week, so there's additional training for all of those skills so they can stay sharp."
As a general service police dog, Jager's duties will include drug sniffing, tracking suspects and protecting his fellow officers in the field. Jager will be handled by and live with Officer Gene Martin.
"He's still in training to become an all-around service dog for patrol," Buck said. "He'll have a broad range of services, including tracking, drugs and officer safety. A lot of times, narcotics dogs are just narcotics only. We'd like him to be a little broader."
THOUGH THE purchase of a new police dog can cost up to $15,000, Buck said Jager came to Reminderville police as a donation from area dog breeder and trainer Tom Schmidt, who will train Jager and Martin weekly at no charge alongside the other K9s and handlers with whom Schmidt has worked, Buck added.
"[Schmidt] donates not only to us, but to 15-17 different agencies," Buck said. "That's pretty significant and we appreciate his donation because normal dogs nowadays that other departments are getting are around $15,000. That's just to purchase the dog, not counting any training. [Schmidt is] a very good friend to law enforcement."
Jager will replace K9 Utz, a German shepherd who served as the department's police dog for more than seven years, beyond the average service life of around five years, according to Buck. Utz was also originally donated to the department by Schmidt and retired from the PD earlier this year to live with Martin, his previous handler.
Buck said he is glad to be putting a new patrol service dog on the streets. "I was happy that our Village Council decided to vote for a patrol dog and put it out there for a service to the residents," Buck said.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4171