DANVILLE — Chief of Police Monte Vance announced that the Danville Police Department has a new addition to its police force.
Mayor Bob Dile administered the oath of office to the department’s newest officer, Officer Lasko, at the Tuesday night Village Council meeting. Lasko is a 2-year-old German Shepard police dog imported from Germany, and was purchased through Azzi International Service for Dogs.
Vance said the DPD is committed to taking a proactive approach on the war against drugs, and feels the development of a K-9 Unit will support the department’s vision of combating illegal drugs. This, in turn said Vance, will create a safer community for those who live in Danville and the Knox County area.
According to Vance, the K-9 Unit will be comprised of Lasko and his handler, Investigator Sgt. Tom Looney. Lasko will accompany Looney on patrol and be utilized when the presence of illegal narcotics is suspected. Danville residents will recognize the K-9 Unit’s police cruiser, as it will have markings that identify it as a K-9 Unit with “Lasko” printed on one of the cruiser’s rear doors.
Vance said the pair has been going through many hours of training the past several weeks so Lasko can be certified in narcotic detection and Looney certified as K-9 handler. Lasko will be trained to detect the presence of marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and other illegal drugs.
The training is through Azzi International Service for Dogs, an accredited and certified training academy by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy, Attorney Generals Office, London. Vance said Azzi International canines have been placed with law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and abroad.
The purchase of the police dog was made possible through a donation from Ariel Corp., said Vance. The donation covered the purchase cost as well the training, and also assisted with the purchase of the required customized cage that Lasko will ride in while on patrol.
“The donation speaks volumes for the commitment Ariel Corp. has shown to the Knox County community, and said the Danville Police Department’s ability to obtain this tool to combat the war on drugs could not have been achieved without the donation,” said Vance.
Vance said he will be sending out a letter to all law enforcement agencies in Knox County advising them that Danville’s K-9 Unit is available to assist in illegal narcotics detection if needed.
“The Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Agency has already expressed interest in requesting the assistance of the department’s K-9 Unit,” he added.
Any Knox County school districts or any county business that has a need for the service of the K-9 Unit is encouraged to contact Vance at the Danville Police Department, 599-6888.