Police K-9 unit
gets new four-legged officer
is a specially trained dog
originally from the Netherlands
(June 2009) The latest addition to the Madison
Police Department stands a little over two feet tall and weighs about
70 pounds. Covered mostly in hair, he is rarely seen in a uniform and
never without partner, Lt. Rick Mundt, by his side.
Thats because this new member of the force is a dog but
not just any dog. Laykos a 3-year-old German Shepherd, is originally
from the Netherlands and is specially trained for police work.
by Tara Gentile
Rick Mundt and
his partner, Laykos,
are part of Madison
K-9 unit. Laykos is
for narcotics and
He is a dual purpose dog specifically trained in narcotics
and tracking use, said Mundt, the police departments K-9 handler.
We take him with us on search warrants, vehicle searches. Theres
really a lot he can do. If a child or an elderly person was to go missing
and we got the scent in time, Laykos could find them.
Laykos credentials and pedigree make him an expensive animal to
acquire. The police department recently asked the Jefferson County community
to make donations to help with the cost of Laykos and the supplies needed
to care for him.
Weve really had a great response from the community from
both private individuals, businesses and local organizations,
said Maj. Yancey Denning of the Madison Police Department.
The Southwestern School Corp. held a large fundraising event, along
with several other schools in the area. Jefferson County Coroner Ashley
Carlson Jackson took charge of a large part of the fundraising efforts,
R.T. Steel donated Laykoss kennel. Local veterinarian Dr. Kevin
Watkins is providing free pet services for Laykos, and Sheriff Bill
Andrews is purchasing dog food for the next year.
Its really the initial costs, the start-up thats so
expensive, said Denning.
The majority of donations went to purchasing Laykos, training for both
Laykos and Mundt, a special cage for the vehicle which transports Laykos,
and equipment, such as leashes and harnesses.
Mundt and Laykos participated in five weeks of special training at the
Vohne Liche kennels in Denver, Ind., before actually going on duty together.
I picked Laykos up from Vohne Liche before the actual training
and took him home with me for a week just so we could get to know each
other. They want you to bond with the dog before you train with him,
said Mundt. Hes very friendly; very sociable.
This is the second K-9 officer the department has had in the past 12
years, the last being officer Buck who retired after about
10 years of service.
It would be great if we could afford more but it is such an expensive
program, said Denning.
The departments next purchase is a knife and bullet proof vest
Were also hoping to one day install a computer system in
Mundts vehicle that would protect the dog from overheating if
left in the car, said Denning.
The system monitors the temperature inside the vehicle and would alert
Mundt if the car became too hot. If the officer was unable to get back
to the vehicle in time to ventilate the interior, the system would automatically
open a door to allow Laykos to escape.
Overheating is the number No. 1 cause of death among K-9 officers.
This system, though expensive, would be very valuable to the department
and could possibly save Laykoss life, said Denning.
The department will continue to raise money in order to purchase such
People still come in and drop off $5 or $10 every now and then,
said Denning. Every little bit helps. Any money we can get is
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