K-9 Rico and K-9 Zar are two German Shepherds from the Czech Republic. They’re trained to do what humans can’t. Their noses are 45-times stronger than ours.
“We usually just do a full exterior, let them move around,” said Sgt. Chris Martinez, Newberry Township Police.
In this pick-up truck, there’s a bag of heroin. Rico is trained to sit when he smells drugs, and then gets a reward for his find.
“They know after sitting down after smelling odor, they get rewarded,” said Martinez.
Soon they’ll take these skills, and many more to the streets, they just need a few months of field training.
“Coming to work, getting in the police car, bonding with their handler,” said Martinez.
Rico and Zar will work opposite shifts, taking calls in Newberry Township, and across the county.
“I didn’t want to continue Tazer’s legacy with one K-9, if I was able to double that was my mission. That was my goal., and become one of the best K-9 teams in the commonweatlth,” said Steve Lutz, Chief of Newberry Township Police.
Newly designed K-9 vehicles are equipped with spring-loaded doors, automatic cooling systems, and alarms to notify handlers if the temperature inside gets too hot.
“All the lights would turn on the windows would drop, telling us, get to your dog,” said Martinez.