Brimfield Police enlist new canine

Karina Arutyunova

Brimfield Township Police welcomed a new member to their department last month, but he is only nine weeks old.

King, a 15-pound German shepherd, is teaming up with Amber Peterman, patrolman and canine officer.

Peterman interviewed to be a canine officer and was chosen by her department. She picked King to be her partner and said her job has been different ever since.

“It’s non-stop with a puppy. I can’t just sit and do my job,” Peterman said. “I have to take him out every two hours, and I have to play with him. You can’t just stick him in his kennel.”

Peterman said the puppy has not left her side since the day she got him. Constantly being together, at work and at home, is part of his training process.

“Every day is a training day,” Peterman said. “He rides with me in the cruiser every day and hears radio noises and sirens.”

Aside from their constant companionship, King and Peterman travel to Macedonia every Tuesday for canine police training with Tom and Kathy Schmidt at Schmidt’s Kennels.

“He gets to socialize with other dogs and listen to their commands during training,” Tom Schmidt said. “When he gets done with all of this he won’t be afraid of anything.”

In his training, King is taught to find drugs with a toy.

“Everything a dog does, especially with drug work, is a game. They want their toy. It’s not them looking for drugs,” Peterman said.

The Schmidts are not only the trainers. They are also the ones who bred him.

“His dad is almost 100 pounds and his mom is 90, so he might actually weigh as much as his partner,” Schmidt said jokingly.

King is the second dog donated by the family to the Brimfield Police Department, and the 38th certified and trained dog the Schmidts have donated to police departments in the surrounding area.

Even though Tom Schmidt receives a one-time tax deduction for his work, he said he would do it for absolutely nothing.

Schmidt breeds and trains the dogs as a hobby and says he gets to see the results of his work all the time.

“I get calls in the middle of the night saying this dog just found so many pounds of marijuana,” he said. “I get satisfaction out of this because crime and drugs are taken off the street.”

King is following in the paw prints of Ace, a 19-month German shepherd who has been with the department since he was six weeks old. His partner, officer David Knarr, says King will soon be as capable as Ace.

“King will be bigger than Ace, and he’ll be able to do just about everything he does,” said Knarr. “Ace is certified in narcotics, tracking, obedience, evidence recovery, building and area searches, criminal apprehension and handler protection.”

Knarr admits having Ace has made his job much safer and easier.

“A lot of times we don’t even need to use him,” he said. “Usually when they hear him they know we have the capabilities to use him, and they just turn the drugs over to us.”

Knarr said having a canine with him at crime scenes has helped with issues other than drugs as well.

“We have manpower issues a lot of times here,” he said. “He (Ace) and I respond to it and we don’t need another officer.”

The department decided to get another canine like Ace to help fight drugs in Brimfield.

“The K-9 program really did a good job and we decided to get another dog,” Peterman said. “And with Brimfield, as with any other city, we have a lot of drugs going in and out of the township.”

Contact public affairs reporter Karina Arutyunova at [email protected]