Currently we have two active K-9's working for our department. Officer Nicole Knierim, the first female K-9 handler in Racine County, was teamed up with Brutus, a German Shepard/Malinois mix. The team started their service together in 2014. Our newest member to the unit is K-9 Ares, a Belgian Malinois. Ares is partnered with Officer Eric Giese. They started their service in 2015.
Officer Knierim received and trained her dog at Southern Police Canine Inc. located in Spring Hope, North Carolina. Officer Giese received and trained with Ares at American K-9 Interdiction in Virginia. Brutus and Ares are trained in: apprehension, officer protection, narcotics, evidence location and tracking. Officer Knierim and Giese had to complete a six week, 240 hour training course consisting of hands on training with their K-9's, classroom lectures and exams.
The K-9's and their handlers train on average seven hours a week to maintain skills they use on a daily basis. When Brutus and Ares are not sniffing out crime, they also participate in school demonstrations and community functions throughout the year.