The newest member of the Knox Police Department and his handler are off to school this week. O’Neill is an 18-month-old Malinois purchased by the department with donated funds raised over the past few months. Officer Chad Dulin says he will be certified in both drug detection and search and rescue.
“Belgian Malinois have a lot more speed to them, sometimes a bit more drive. That’s what we were looking for this time. He has a controlled work ethic. I like that. He’s not letting his drive get the best of him,” Dulin said.
O’Neill will be a certified narcotics dog and will also be able to clear buildings, cars, open fields and wooded areas to locate fleeing suspects when he completes his training.
Dulin adds he and O’Neill are going to train like they work, with every training simulating a live scenario. He adds Vohne Liche Kennels stands behind their dogs and will exchange O’Neill for another animal if they aren’t bonding the way they should or if he encounters a problem during training that cannot be fixed.
Dulin notes the average working life span for a police dog is between seven and 10 years. He adds the generosity of the community made the acquisition of the dog possible and says he appreciates everyone who contributed to the K-9 fund.