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Connects Against Crime

Connects Against Crime

 
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Marion K-9 Dogs A Much Appreciated Bonus for Crime Fighting

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:16 PM CDT
MARION, IA (KGAN) -- Marion Police Officer Jeff Hartwig loves his partner Rico. The two have been partnered together for the past 7 years but Officer Hartwig says this was more of an unlikely bond.

"I grew up with cats, I have one cat at home right, it's definitely a new experience," says Hartwig.

Marion Police Department has had K-9's on the force since 1998 and the officer and dog often spend a lot of time together.

"When he sees me getting ready for work he knows what's going on, he loves to come to work," Hartwig said.

Rico is one of three dogs on patrol with the department. He is trained to sniff out bombs and one of the departments other dogs, Bruno is trained to sniff for drugs.

"They are very beneficial to the police department," says Chief Harry Daugherty.

Before the dogs are out on the street they go through five weeks of intense training that includes exercises in bomb and drug sniffing.

"Which is tracking, building searches, suspect apprehension and handle and protection also," says Hartwig.

Officer Hartwig and Rico have actually protected some of the nations elite.

"I actually met President Obama and the Dalai Lama," says Hartwig.  

Officer Hartwig and Rico have actually protected some of the nations elite

Meantime, during everyday work, Rico is trained to help protect the city from crime and sometimes that can include biting a suspect.

"Depends on the crime, kind of depends on the situation but we'd rather not use it, but if need be we would do so," says Hartwig.  

As for Rico he is coming up on retirement because he is getting older. Officer Hartwig says he's not sure how Rico will respond to not being able to do the job. Marion K-9 Dogs A Much Appreciated Bonus for Crime Fighting


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