On Paw-trol: Meet Washoe County's Newest K9 Cop
There's a new furry face at the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, and he's ready to protect and serve. Deputies introduced their newest K9 to his public Wednesday.
All six members of the Washoe County Sheriff K9 unit…Titus, Murphy, Boomer, Kelo, Keago and Speed came out today (Wednesday) to welcome the newest to the pooch patrol: Jett, who chowed down on dog treats and enjoyed attention from the 40-some humans in attendance. How did deputies pick the name "Jett"? His handler, Deputy Jason Grille told me, "He's fast. And just like, he's sleek, the way he looks. And it just...I felt like it fit him."
Sgt. Brandon Zirkle of the Washoe County Sheriff's K9 Unit says, "Jett has not officially been sworn in, he's been training for the last two weeks." How is that swearing in for K9’s done? "Usually in front of the sheriff. The sheriff will bring him in and swear the dog in."
Jett was chosen because of his willingness to work and his loving temperament. Yes, loving temperament. That is an important quality for a police canine to have. Deputy Grille says, "Working special events like the Reno Rodeo and Hot August Nights, there are crowds of people and you have to be able to walk your dog around and know he's not going to go off on somebody for no reason." Sgt. Zirkle added, "We strive for a strong social police dog so we can bring him out in an environment like this and have children pet him."
As for obedience? The newbie K9 is….working on that. "Once he finds what he's supposed to find and I reward him with his ball, he's not always quick to give it back. He likes to keep it. He thinks, 'I earned it so I'm going to hold onto it for a while.'"
But on the job, Jett is strictly business. Sgt. Zirkle said, "He is trained for narcotics odor, recognition, patrol work and tracking work." Deputy Grille gives Jett high marks for enthusiasm: "When I go to get him out of the back of the truck, I have to hold him back from coming out, he's just so eager to go to work." And as Sgt. Zirkle says, "Jett's been a rock star since day one. He's doing really, really well."
And when Jett isn't working, he gets spoiled at home by Deputy Grille's family. He told me, "Yes he's absolutely spoiled! My daughter and my wife, they're all over him when he comes home."
Acquiring, training and outfitting K-9’s with the essential equipment costs around $25,000 apiece. Today's event was held at Lithia Reno Subaru, which presented a check today covering that amount.