From the Brookhaven Police Department:

Brookhaven Police Officer David Fikes and K-9 “Dano” passed the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association, Inc. (NNDDA) certification on July 8. Fikes and “Dano” completed the narcotics certification and the police service dog certification to become Brookhaven’s second dual purpose police dog team. Officer John Ritch and K-9 “Grizz” joined the department in March 2014 to become the department’s first K-9 team. “Grizz” came to Brookhaven as a NNDDA certified dual purpose police dog with 7 years of experience.

“Dano” passed all four narcotic odors in order to receive the narcotics certification. “Dano” also passed on a fifth odor that was not required for certification. Dano passed in all areas of the police service dog certification. The areas evaluated included obedience, tracking, temperament, criminal apprehension, building search, and area search. “Dano” also passed the evidence recovery portion which was not required for certification.

“I am very pleased with the progress and skills demonstrated by K-9 ‘Dano’ and Officer Fikes,” noted Chief Gary Yandura. “The fact that ‘Dano’ passed in all areas to include additional areas that were not even needed for certification speaks volumes for the amount of work that Officer Fikes and Officer Ritch have put in to train K-9 ‘Dano’.” “Dano” is a 3 year old Belgian Malinois with no prior police dog experience. Officer Fikes and “Dano” have received over 400 hours of training over the past 10 weeks in order to meet this certification.

The Brookhaven Police K-9 unit partnered with the Sandy Springs Police Department and the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office over the past 10 weeks in order to provide training for Officer Fikes and K-9 “Dano”. “We thank our law enforcement partners for their participation and assistance with our new K-9 program,” noted Chief Yandura. NNDDA certifying official and Sandy Springs Police Officer Mike DeWald conducted the certification and evaluated “Dano” and Fikes’ performance.

Ann Marie Quill

Ann Marie Quill is Associate Editor at Reporter Newspapers.