The Ithaca Police Department’s newest member stands on four legs.
Ofc. Pat Simmich and Bert, his K-9 partner, patrolling Downtown Ithaca. 14850 Photo.Bert, a Czech German Shepherd dog, was sworn in as IPD’s newest "officer" on Monday morning in an effort to reestablish a K-9 Team. Bert was chosen for the program in March, and since then he and Officer Pat Kimmich passed a rigorous training and certification program.
The training program lasted eight weeks, during which time the pair learned basic dog obedience, tracking, suspect apprehension, and related topics. Later this year, both will attend a four-week school to gain their certification in explosive detection. The team will also be utilized for building searches and searches for missing persons.
Mayor Svante Myrick swore in Bert earlier today in the Common Council chambers at City Hall. "Having a K-9 team will foster positive community relations with the Ithaca Police Department, and the team will also be an asset for the department in combating crime in our community," said Myrick.
Specifically, the K-9 team will have a presence at community festivals, sporting events, community relations events, and other activities where large crowds are present.
Czech and West German breeds of German Shepherd are often used as border patrol dogs or in police service. They're especially trainable, and well-behaved when interacting with people. In addition to Bert’s acceptance to the program, Kimmich will serve as the IPD K-9 Team Officer.
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