St. Francois Sheriff’s Office has been without a K-9 since its beloved Bruno, pictured here, died in 2014. Deputy Tim Harris was his handler.

 

The St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department will be receiving a new K-9 for their department in coming weeks, all thanks to an anonymous donor.

Board of Directors of St. Francois County Joint Communications Chairman Ron Bockenkamp presented a check to St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock on behalf of the donor who wished to remain nameless.

“I am presenting a check to the sheriff in the amount of $50,000, to be used to purchase and equip a K-9 for the sheriff’s department,” said Bockenkamp. “This initial check will cover some of the initial upfront costs.”

Bockenkamp explained the sheriff’s department has already ordered a new car and it will be specially equipped for the police dog. It will also cover the cost of the construction of a kennel at the home of the officer.

The sheriff has already selected the officer who will be the K-9 handler and the dog is already in the country completing some training.

“I have talked to the trainer who trains the dogs for the Secret Service and the FBI and he says this is the best dog he has ever seen,” said Bockenkamp. “The future cost for training of the dog, the cost of the dog and any other items … there will be a second installment of money available to the sheriff’s department.”

Bullock said the donor has offered to cover everything for the dog, including food, vet costs and more.

“We are very excited about getting our new K-9 program started and I am proud of Nathan Glore for stepping up to the plate to be a K-9 handler. I know it’s something he has wanted for a long time, but we hadn’t been able to afford it. This is going to afford us that opportunity, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to afford this.”

Bullock added it could have been several years before they could have raised enough money to get a K-9 for the department. He said they have had K-9s in the past and the dogs have done good work.

“It’s time to start a new program and this is going to be wonderful for us,” said Bullock. “It’s a plus for law enforcement and the citizens of St. Francois County. It’s been close to two years since the sheriff’s department has had a K-9 on the force and we are looking forward to it.”

Currently Desloge is the only police department in the county with a K-9. The Farmington Police Department is working to get two in the near future.

“This will be good for law enforcement in general across the county,” said Bullock. “As always we certainly will work with the cities, state and other law enforcement in neighboring counties. We are really proud to have this opportunity and we certainly appreciate our donor who is making this possible.”

Glore is excited to have the opportunity to be a K-9 officer. He said this is the reason he got into law enforcement.

“I have been an officer with the sheriff’s department for nearly 10 years and I am just ecstatic,” said Glore. “One day we were looking into doing fundraising to raise the money ourselves and the next day we were basically told not to worry about it, we have someone who is going to take care of everything and we don’t have anything to worry about.”

Glore said since that day everything has progressed so quickly that it is almost unbelievable. He added on the day they talked to donor, they ordered the dog.

“We got on a website and picked the dog after watching videos,” said Glore. “They sent a money order for the dog the next day and he was on his way. There are not enough words to thank the sheriff for putting this together.”

Glore stressed that this is a career goal for him and a lifelong dream. He has always wanted to be a K-9 handler and now that dream is quickly becoming reality.

“I can’t wait for him to get here,” said Glore. “His name is Teo (Tay-Oh) and he will be up there for training for a couple of weeks. I will then pick him up and we will start our training together. There are certifications you have to pass and he is going to be a dual purpose K-9.”

Teo will be certified in narcotics, tracking and suspect apprehension, and evidentiary searches. Glore also has to learn a new language because Teo is trained in Czech and it’s easier to teach him a new language, than teach the dog a whole new language.

“He’s from Czechoslovakia and has been speaking Czech all his life, so I’ll have to learn a new language,” said Glore. “There are some things I have to go through, like being able to communicate with the dog and not only to talk to him, but read his body language and understand him.”

Glore said once Teo completes his training in St. Charles he will know what he is supposed to do.

“It’s me they have to retrain. They will train me to know what my dog means when he is doing things,” said Glore. “There is an association, the National Association for Police Working Dogs, and once we are done with training, a judge will come out. You have to prove you can handle the dog and your dog is competent in what he knows how to do.”

Glore said they will give him a certificate and each year after that he will have to recertify.

The sheriff’s department has already received their new K-9 car and they are waiting on the equipment they ordered to outfit it for Teo.

By Renee Bronaugh | Daily Journal