WAAY 31 is introducing you to K9 Athos, the newest member of the Hollywood Police Department!
K9 Handler and Police Chief Jason Hepler has to give K9 Athos his commands in Czech, because it's the language the K9 was trained in. The two met earlier this month for a two-week training session at a special K9 facility in Texas.
"It takes a while to put that bond together. The dog doesn't necessarily respect you as soon as you show up there," Hepler said.
Athos is the department's third K9 officer and is stepping in for K9 Fox who's retiring. Hepler said they've had a strong K9 unit since it started in 2011.
"Our K9 unit has actually been very successful here. We've seized hundreds of pounds of drugs off the highway," Hepler said.
Hepler said the department's K9 officers do most of their work along Highway 72, which he described as a drug corridor, but they're also trained to bite.
"We use K9s for officer protection. We use them for apprehension, and we use them if there's ever a situation where we need crowd control," Hepler said.
Hepler said Athos is still getting acclimated to his new environment, but he's already out working the streets. Hepler also said a town the size of Hollywood wouldn't be able to afford a K9 without a grant from the K9s4COPs organization.
For those of you who use Instagram, Hepler is asking you to follow Athos at k9_Athos.