Middletown’s three canines started kindergarten this week, taking their first steps toward becoming the city’s newest K-9 officers.
The dogs, all males, began their 12-week training through the Middletown Division of Police K-9 Academy, the department said.
“We can’t wait for these boys to graduate and fight crime on the streets of Middletown,” according to a post on the department’s Facebook page.
The three dogs were purchased after the retirement of two canine officers.
The dogs will be handled by police officers Gary Bender, Evan Mosley and Lindsey Schwarber.
Bender will handle Battle, a 1-year-old German Shepherd; Mosley will handle Maui, a 1-year-old German Shepherd; and Schwarber will handle Maverick, a 1-year-old Malinois, according to the department.
The addition of these three canines will give Middletown five K-9 officers and allow the city to have a canine on duty at all times, said Maj. David Birk. They will join Denny Jordan and Tony Gibson and their canines, Koda and Bear, on the force.
The dogs are originally from Germany, and each costs $8,000. Of the $24,000, fundraisers from the Fraternal Order Police Auxiliary, Moose Lodge and Riders for Life generated $16,000, officials said. The remaining $8,000 will come out of the police department’s budget.