A second new K-9 unit has entered into action for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department thanks to a sizeable grant.
The Howard Buffett Foundation provided a $72,000 grant to the department for a new police dog, training, a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and necessary equipment inside the truck for the K-9 unit.
Deputy Ed Ahne, who has served with the department for 8.5 years, and police dog Kondor graduated from Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver, Ind., on May 15.
Ahne and Kondor join Deputy Justin Mendenhall and police dog Reggie at the MCSD. That unit started at the department earlier this spring.
Longtime MCSD K-9 handler Sgt. Jim Lansing, who will soon serve as lieutenant and chief deputy, said police dog Sari is winding down her career but will still be used for school presentations and other community events before she officially retires at the end of the year.
Kondor, who will turn 2 in August and currently weighs about 60 pounds, is a cross between a malinois and German shepherd. He arrived to the U.S. from Slovakia in February.
In addition to drug detection, Kondor is trained to track suspects and missing persons as well as provide protection.
“He’s real approachable,” Ahne said of his new partner. “He’s got the high drive of a malinois, plus the better temperament of a shepherd.”
This is Ahne’s first stint as a K-9 officer.
“It’s new to me and a lot of work, but I like it so far,” Ahne said.
Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing said the two K-9 units will work on opposite night shifts once everyone gets settled in.
“Our goal is to have 100 percent coverage in the county from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. every night,” Rohlfing said.
Although Columbia and Waterloo have K-9 units, Rohlfing said Kondor and Reggie can provide help to all the local police departments when needed.
“We can provide assistance to Waterloo, Columbia and Valmeyer,” Rohlfing said.
The Columbia Police Department K-9 unit is officer Zach Hopkins and police dog Daggo.
The Waterloo Police Department K-9 unit is officer Trin Daws and police dog Ayla.