Aero, a German Shepard and Belgium Malinois mix, is the new K-9 officer for the Anderson Police Department and made his debut last Wednesday during the Anderson Chamber of Commerce weekly Greeters event.
Leading Aero around was Officer Mike Hallagan, who will be the K-9 handler for Anderson Police Department.
According to Hallagan, Aero has been at the Vigilant Canine Services International (VCSI) training center in Red Bluff going through basic training. He was able to take Aero home on Monday and they will spend almost a month together bonding and continuing to work on Aero’s basic training.
“It’s an orientation period, where he’ll get used to being in a kennel, going to work and riding in the back of a squad car,” the officer said.
Then on September 2, Hallagan and Aero will begin a five week training program through the VCSI. During that time, Aero will learn how to detect narcotics, go after suspects, and learn commands in German.
“Aero will be trained to sit, which is passive detection instead of biting or pawing at the scent when he detects narcotics,” Hallagan explained.
He added that he is looking forward to all aspects of being a K-9 officer because “the K-9 becomes an extension of the officer’s abilities.”
“Aero will be there to protect me and the community, because we can send him into situations that aren’t safe for officers to apprehend a suspect, as well as sniff out contraband,” Hallagan stated.
He also noted that because Aero was purchased with funds donated by the community, he belongs to the community just as much as he does to the police department.
“I’m looking forward to having him protect the community,” Hallagan added simply.
There will be on-going fundraising efforts by APD because of the cost associated with the continual training, veterinary bills, and general up keep of 15-month-old Aero, he said.
Hallagan was also pleased to report that during man and dog’s first night together everything went well.
“He didn’t get my shoes, he has a very high drive and we played together, but he did find the sprinklers in the backyard,” Hallagan noted. “He’s not a barker, and knows that when he’s in his kennel it’s time to relax, and when he’s outside it, it’s time to play.”