GUERNSEY COUNTY, Ohio -- The Guernsey County Sheriff's Office welcomed a new, four-legged officer to its ranks on Wednesday.
Sheriff Mike McCauley chose Nitro, a jet-black German Shepherd, to become the newest canine officer on the force on Wednesday afternoon. Nitro was trained in Holland to be a multi-purpose canine officer, capable of locating drugs and tracking and apprehending suspects.
Dep. William Patterson was selected to be Nitro's full-time handler. Patterson and Nitro will now take part in six weeks of additional training. Nitro was brought in to fill the role recently vacated by K-9 Rose, who retired after many faithful years of service to the Sheriff's Office. Dep. Patterson and Nitro will serve alongside Dep. Richard McClay and K-9 Yuri.
Sheriff McCauley said that K-9 units have become a crucial part of law enforcement as drug trafficking becomes more common in Ohio communities. McCauley thanked the citizens of Guernsey County for their ongoing support of the program, and added that the Sheriff's Office would be unable to maintain their K-9 unit without the past and future support of community members and organizations.
The Muskingum County Sheriff's Office also accepted delivery of a new canine on Wednesday. The Guernsey and Muskingum County Sheriff's Offices made the additions at the same time to cut down on delivery and transportation of the dogs from Holland to Michigan-based Vigilant Canine Service International.