LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As of next week, there will be a new officer on patrol in Lordstown, and he’s the first of his kind to wear the badge serving the village.
“I’m just ready to get out there and get to work and so is he,” said Deputy Brett Blank.
Starting Tuesday, Deputy Blank and K-9 Jochie will patrol Lordstown as a team.
“It’s incredible, it was a long journey,” said Deputy Blank.
Jochie is a two year old Belgian Malinois from the Netherlands. He specializes in narcotic detection, tracking and apprehension.
The pair just completed six weeks of training at Shallow Creek Kennels and will be sworn in Monday night.
“It’s just been incredible to see what the dog’s capabilities are and trust your dog and be able to let it work and figure things out itself but together we’re a team so I feel that we’ll accomplish a lot,” said Deputy Blank.
This is a first for the village. Prior to Jochie, the department hasn’t had a K-9 in it’s 46-year history.
“We saw the need for a K-9,” said Chief Brent Milhoan of the Lordstown Police Department. “We were one of those departments that if we needed a K-9, we were relying on one of the neighboring agencies that had a K-9 to bring it to our village.”
Starting a K-9 program comes at a cost. The department got approval to seek donations in the fall of 2021 with a $15,000 goal.
In just eight months, the department was gifted more than $38,000, with donations ranging anywhere from $5 to $10,000.
“We were very blessed we felt very supported like I said not only by our community and local businesses but people that we have never come in contact with and probably never will,” said Chief Milhoan.
Chief Milhoan says the department was blown away by how much support they received to help start the K-9 program from both near and far.
“There were a lot of states people made contributions from Florida, New York, Tennessee, Kentucky. I mean it was pretty overwhelming,” said Chief Milhoan.
The department plans to use the extra money to sustain the K-9 program by paying for expenses like dog food and vet costs.