The Hutchinson Police Department has welcomed a new K-9 officer.
Officer Tank was officially welcomed to the force in Hutchinson on Thursday morning where Police Chief Hooper presented Tank with his badge, number 109.
Tank is trained to detect four different drugs as well as track humans, like missing people or a suspect on the run from police. Having Tank on the force will help department in combatting the ongoing drug problem, namely meth.
“It’s another option for our officers and detectives to use a dog. The dogs’ nose doesn’t lie,” Tank’s handler, officer James Sanders said.
Sanders and Tank have been training together for awhile as well as building their bond. Sanders describes Tank as laid-back, but that he can turn on “hunter” mode when he needs to find something.
“It’s a lot of responsibility taking care of a dog, he’s not a normal dog. He has to be trained every single day, he has to be worked. It’s definitely a different experience,” Sanders said.
When HPD began researching costs to add a K-9 unit, initial costs including the training, vest, new vehicle and care added up to around $75,000.
A local non-profit with a heart for animals stepped up to help.
“When we heard about it, we wanted to be involved and we were going to go all out to help Tank and help Jimmy (Sanders),” Jamie Margheim, president of Cause for Paws said.
Cause for Paws covered Tank’s expenses.
The act of kindness was done in memory of one of Cause for Paws’ biggest advocates: Charles Buckaloo.
Buckaloo was a Hutchinson man who served as a K-9 handler in the Vietnam War. He passed away in November.
“Tank is here because of him and we couldn’t be any happier,” Sanders said.
K-9 Tank will begin patrolling the streets of Hutchinson this weekend.