By Blake Haas
BLOOMINGTON ‚Äď Bloomington Police Department has added a new face to their force, but this time the new face comes with fur and four legs.
With already having a week on the force under his belt or collar in dog terms, K-9 Ryker has been assigned with his handler to the street crimes division.
‚ÄúWe have a brand new Belgian Malinois and he‚Äôs a little over two-years-old,‚ÄĚ said Elias Mendiola, BPD‚Äôs Public Information Officer. ‚ÄúHe did come from Belgium and was brought over in the same program that our K-9‚Äôs have used for years and have had great success from the same breeders rather. ‚ÄĚ
One of the main jobs of K-9 Ryker will be to sniff out narcotics with his handler Officer Justin Shively.
‚ÄúOfficer Shively and Ryker had completed 11 weeks of basic training and during that training their focus is primarily on narcotic detection, tracking, building searches, article searches and apprehensions,‚ÄĚ added Mendiola. ‚ÄúRyker is further trained to find the order of narcotics and humans. Ryker is assigned with his handler Officer Shively to our street crimes division. They focus on any crimes for service of course and they are a unit that works very closely with our vice narcotics unit. They will focus on any calls for service and also if there is any particular neighborhoods that may need further deployment of our resources based on some of our intelligence led policing.‚ÄĚ
Mendiola added that the biggest key to having Ryker join the staff is that K-9‚Äôs can do more than humans can depending on the situation at hand.
‚ÄúIt is very important for that unit and the utilization for some of the things that K-9‚Äôs can do that us officers are not able to do.‚ÄĚ
Blake Haas can be reached at Blake.Haas@cumulus.com.