(Le Mars) — A few weeks ago, the Le Mars city council had the opportunity to see the new dog selected to be a part of the Le Mars Police Department’s K-9 unit. “Ace” is a cross between a German Shepard and a Belgium Malinois.
Le Mars Police Officer Bob Rohmiller is working as the handler for “Ace.”
Rohmiller says the new addition to the Le Mars Police Department comes from a long pedigree of law enforcement canines.
Rohmiller says “Ace” is being trained for narcotics detection and suspect apprehension.
Although Ace is nearly full grown in terms of height, he is still a puppy with all the energy of a puppy. Rohmiller says it will take at least a year of training for the narcotic detection, and perhaps as long as a year and a half before Ace will be on patrol duty for suspect apprehension. Rohmiller has been given some guidance and advice from Le Mars Police Officer Mark Reed and
Plymouth County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Wingert, both of whom are law enforcement K-9 handlers. Once a week, Rohmiller takes Ace to Sioux City for additional training. Rohmiller says the training for Ace, the new K9 law enforcement dog, has to be like a game, and is rewarded when the dog acts correctly.
Rohmiller says he works with his dog for at least two hours every day. He describes what’s involved with training his dog to become a law enforcement patrol dog.
The Le Mars Police officer says it is always a gamble when training with young dogs as to whether the dog will eventually work as police patrol dog.
Rohmiller says he has always wanted to be a dog handler ever since he started as a police officer.
Obtaining a dog for police work can be expensive. However, the Le Mars Police Department held a fund raising campaign and was fortunate to receive several donations, as well as holding a raffle in order to pay for the dog, its training, and food and shelter supplies.
Ace’s personality is an energetic, curious puppy. Officer Rohmiller hopes that once Ace becomes certified, he will be sociable with younger children who may want to pet the dog, while still being able to attack a suspect upon command.