The Pacific County Sheriff’s Office has a new K-9 team in training: Deputy Justin Kangas and one-year-old German Shepard Ciko.
Ciko was born in Slovakia and came to the Sheriff’s Office through Sharpsville, Penn. Kangas and Ciko are currently attending an intensive, 10-week training in Pierce County where they’ll log more than 400 hours of training time together.
They’re training to become an apprehension and tracking team. The Sheriff’s Office also has K-9 Diesel, a bloodhound specializing in tracking and search-and-rescue.
“We believe that having an apprehension and tracking dog within our agency will definitely be a positive asset to the citizens and other law enforcement agencies within our county,” Sheriff Scott Johnson said in a press release. “We have long had the need to be able to track criminals fleeing active burglaries and vehicle prowls while on foot. We have also experienced increased reports of prowlers in different neighborhoods around the county during all hours of the day and night.”
K-9 Simon, a narcotics dog, retired last year, and Chief Criminal Deputy Pat Matlock said Ciko may fill that void someday.
“The idea is to possibly cross-train the dog in narcotics down the road,” he said. “But first thing’s first for the first specialty.”
Matlock said Kangas was able to fly to Pennsylvania for the selection of Ciko, and their complimentary personalities make them a great team.
Johnson thanked Pacific County Commissioners for supporting the K-9 program as well as many charitable donations that help keep the program going.
Kangas and Ciko are expected to be ready to hit the road sometime in March.