Greenfield - Any time now, Greenfield's new police dog, Ocho, will hit the streets with his handler, veteran police officer Jonah Kowalkowski.
Ocho is Spanish for eight. Ocho will be Greenfield's eighth police dog. He will replace Karma who had to retire early because his handler suffered an injury while off duty, making him unable to continue as a patrol officer. However, the officer is now serving the police department in a different capacity.
Ocho will be versatile, being trained to find drugs, track criminals outdoors and in buildings and to protect his handler. He also will visit schoolchildren in class.
Training has been taking place at Southern Police Canine in South Carolina where the majority of police dogs in Wisconsin come from.
Ocho is a year and a half old. Police dogs usually serve until they are 8 or 10 years old, if they stay healthy.
He is a mix of German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois, the same mix as Karma. The breeds were selected to give the best mix of temperament for police work. The German shepherd can be trained easily to take commands and is loyal to the handler. The Belgian Malinois side of their nature give police dogs enough energy to work longer, which is often needed, and gives them the fierceness to protect their handler and to apprehend criminals.
Ocho will join fellow police dog D.J. who is 6 years old and works with Sergeant Eric Lindstrom.