Bismarck PD Needs New Dogs | VideoRetha Colclasure | 10/9/2012
Nick`s nose will be an expensive one to replace.
"We`re looking at about $20,000 to replace Nick," said deputy chief Dan Donlin.
But he`s been a valuable tool to the department, and to his handler, Sgt. Lyle Sinclair.
"They have this big nose out in front of them. Humans, when we search for something, we use our eyes because that`s the easiest. A dog, when they`re hunting, they use their eyes, their ears, their nose," Sinclair said.
Until this summer, Nick had been one of two dogs with the department. K9 Viper had been working for about a year.
"The dog was phenomenal with detecting drugs in cars and in rooms and things like that. Really good drug dog," Donlin said.
But the same character trait that made him a good drug dog also made him too aggressive.
"In police work you want an aggressive dog. It`s that aggressive drive you want to work, work, work. But the aggressiveness on this side was a little bit over the top for us, you couldn`t see that at that point in time when we were selecting it," Donlin said.
As Viper got older and began to work the streets, the aggressiveness became a safety issue. So now, the department is training a new dog that will replace Viper, and work with the same handler.
"That`s an investment we had, monetarily and emotionally for Officer Fetzer to create that bond with that K9. It`s a tool for the police department but you become very attached. It`s a very difficult thing and a hard decision but first and foremost is the safety of officers," Donlin said.
It won`t cost as much to replace Viper because Officer Fetzer already has his part of the training done.
The department picked a two year old Dutch Shepherd female to replace Viper. Once she`s done with her training, she`ll work with Officer Fetzer for a few weeks so they get used to each other. The pair should be working in Bismarck before December.