Plans for the new K-9 unit for the North Royalton Police Department is in full swing. North Royalton Safety Director Bruce Campbell said that the new officer for the unit has been named and the dog will be selected soon.
The program was re-instituted after a grant was received through the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, which provided a $12,800 grant, which will fund the cost of the dog, kennels and a bulletproof vest for the dog. The city will also receive the 10-week K-9 training by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, free of charge. The training will save the city approximately $8,000, according to Campbell.
Patrolman Dan McClintic has been chosen as the new K-9 officer. He was chosen from three officers that applied by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, who provided the assessment. He will be the first K-9 officer since the retirement of the last program, which concluded in 2000, with Officer Bruce Vinicky and Buster, the last K-9 police dog.
The dog to be chosen will be the breed of German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois (pronounced MAL-in-wah). The German Shepherd is a breed of medium to large-sized working dog that originated in Germany. In the English language, the breed’s officially recognized name is German Shepherd Dog. The breed was officially known as the Alsatian in Britain until 1977 when its name was changed back to German Shepherd. The Belgian Malinois is a medium-to-large size Belgian shepherd dog that at first glance resembles a German Shepherd. The name “Malinois” is derived from Malines, the French name for the breed’s city of origin, Mechelen.
The city will also be receiving free routine care for the dog through Dr. Adam Hechko, from North Royalton Animal Hospital. Hechko is known for hosting the annual Pet Carnival on the City Green.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol and North Royalton Police Department officials will begin the process of choosing a dog this month. Three breeders that work specifically to breed police dogs will be visited. Lieutenant Keith Tarase, who is involved in the program said that the kennel has about fifty dogs that will be seen. Of those, there should be about twenty five dogs that will be fit for the position. The Ohio State Highway Patrol need to choose six for North Royalton and other entities that are currently looking for a dog.
Once the dog is chosen, McClintic and the dog will start the ten week training at the end of the month, which is held at the Canine Training Academy in Marysville, Ohio. Once the training is completed, the dog will live with McClintic. The training serves to not only teach skills, but also to help build the relationship between officer and dog. The skills taught include locating narcotics, assistance in apprehension of missing persons and suspects, as well as school resources, according to Campbell. The K-9 program is also a good tool for community relations.
Contributing Writer