The Chadron Police Department has its first-ever K-9 member, but it will be a little while longer before Sukey officially joins the war on crime.
Chief Rick Hickstein introduced the 2-year old German Shepherd and her partner/handler Officer Seth Orsborn to the City Council last night.
The chief explained that while the pair had completed their required 2-week course at Sukey’s training home in Indiana, they still need certification from the Nebraska State Patrol.
As a trained dog, Sukey is costing Chadron $25,000 and the city has received about $7,000 so far in grants and donations.
Hickstein expects Osborn and Sukey to be fully certified by the State patrol by the end of next month.
Chief Hickstein gives full credit for Chadron getting a K-9 officer to Orsborn, a member of the department only about 2 years.
Hickstein says one reason he strongly supported adding a K-9 officer is the fact the Chadron department has struggled for years to get and keep enough human officers to fill all its funded positions.
Sukey is trained for two missions, tracking and drug detection, but Hickstein believes her sheer presence serves a third mission – deterrence.
Sukey is trained to detect almost all illegal drugs except marijuana. Hickstein says marijuana was specifically avoided because there’s the possibility it could become legalized and dogs can’t be “untrained” to ignore it.