CARTER LAKE — It’s been many years since Carter Lake has had a police dog on its force, according to Police Chief Shawn Kannedy, but that changed last weekend when Delta came on board.
Delta, a 23-month-old German Shepherd, came to the department from a dog training school in Kansas. Officer Matt Owens, Delta’s handler, recently returned with Delta after spending two weeks for his own training there, he said. More training is set for the fall.
Kannedy said Delta is the first dog he has worked with since he became chief about 10 years ago, though there was a police dog on the force going back some 12 or 13 years ago. That dog eventually retired and to find a replacement was put off, Kannedy said.
“We were starting to get more officers,” he said. “It just wasn’t a priority.”
From time to time, though, his officers would inquire about a dog, according to Kannedy, and the City Council earlier this year gave the go-ahead. Between $12,000 to $13,000 in donations was raised for the dog’s purchase and for Owens’ training at that school. Approximately $4,500 from his budget went toward modifications in a patrol car for the dog, Kannedy said.
Kannedy described Delta as being a multi-purpose dog, trained for drug detection, apprehension and tracking of suspects from their scent.
Though any dog can have bad days when it comes to interaction with people, Owens said, Delta has a good disposition.
“He interacts well with everyone,” Owens said.
The department plans to take Delta in the future to various events and to the schools so that the public can see the K-9 unit in person.
Yet, Delta seems to know his main purpose.
“When it’s time to work, he’s ready to go,” Kannedy said.
Owens added, “Hopefully, he’ll make a good impact.”
The dog will live with Owens, Kannedy said.