PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There’s a new officer on the Pittsburgh Police force. He’s a K-9 and he’s ready to begin training.
His name is Ari and the 17-month-old German Shepherd from the Netherlands is the newest Pittsburgh Police K-9.
Soon, he will begin a 12-week training program with his partner, Logan Hanley.
“I’m really excited. They have a really good K-9 program here. I know a couple of the K-9 guys and they’ve brought me along and given me a lot of great advice,” Hanley said.
Hanley has been with the department for five years, but this will be his first time working with a K-9.
“The dog already knows what he’s doing, he knows what to look for. I have to learn how to read and handle him, so there’s more training me than there is the dog,” Hanley said.
“You spend more time with that dog than you do your wife, your kids, because you ride around for eight hours a day with them in your patrol car. And, he’s with you through the worst calls to the easiest calls and then, he lives with you,” Assistant K-9 Instructor Ronald Absten said.
Ari was tested along with about a dozen other dogs prior to being purchased.
Instructors say he seemed to be a good fit right from the start. He showed immediate potential, plus he has a good personality and temperament.
He cost about $7,000, which was all donated by AM-GARD, which is a local, family-owned security management company.
The family was touched by the death of K-9 Rocco.
In January, the 8-year-old German Shepherd was stabbed by a most wanted fugitive.
After multiple surgeries, Rocco died from his injuries.
With the addition of Ari, the bureau is up to a full complement of 24 K-9s.