DANVILLE — Members of local law enforcement agencies turned out Friday morning to see what the Danville Police Department’s new K-9 dog can do. Lasko, a 2 1/2-year-old German Shepard, was purchased from and trained by Jerry Azzi, owner and director of Azzi International, based in Morrow County.
Lasko demonstrated his ability in locating people by searching out a “suspect” and holding him by the arm with his mouth. The dog is also trained to detect illegal substances such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin and ecstasy, as well as methamphetamines and their derivatives. Lasko demonstrated to the officers that he can indeed detect the different drugs.
Azzi told the officers that K-9 dogs are being trained for more than just drug detection. As criminals get smarter, the dogs are trained to track missing persons, escaped prisoners and hidden suspects.
Azzi told those present to watch Lasko’s movements. Each dog has different ways of telling the handler it is detecting something. The dogs point their ears forward or back, wag their tails, or provide other characteristics.
Danville Police Sgt. Tom Looney handles Lasko. Looney is a certified K-9 handler. Now trained and on the job, both will have two eight-hour sessions each month. Police Chief Monte Vance said the sessions will keep both of them sharp and up to speed.
Vance said a donation from Ariel Corp. made the acquisition of Lasko possible.