All about the dogs

BRIDGEPORT – Bridgeport Police Department introduced their newest patrolman, Santos, a Dutch shepherd, to the students of Bridgeport High School. The Bridgeport High School also presented the K-9 a check for $500.

“Chief Klotz came down to see me about five or six weeks ago and said he wanted to ask if we would be interested in raising money,” said Bridgeport Superintendent Ted Downing.

Throughout the year, the school has worked to raise money in the community. Some of the ways that the school raised money for the K-9 unit was to pay a dollar to wear a hat or flip flops.

“We would donate the money to the police department, it was a K-12 project and we raised $500, so we felt very good about the contribution,” said Downing.

“It feels like a great accomplishment for the police department, we have been working hard at this, Officer Keven Yates and I, the support the village, school and citizens have shown to help us achieve our canine was greatly appreciated,” said Bridgeport Police Chief Andrew Klotz.

Klotz and the K-9 handler Yates picked up Santos on Friday,Oct. 25 and will begin training on Monday, Nov. 4. Santos is a duel – purpose dog, which means he can detect narcotics, search and track and subject apprehension.

“There has been an adjustment just bring him to work and going home. Basically, changing my whole routine up on how I get ready for work. Now I have to get him ready for work,” said Yates. “I am thrilled that I will get to help Bridgeport out a little more.”

According to Yates, so far Santos has been calm and will be a good dog.

Yates who has three sons and two other dogs are getting along great with Santos as well. For Yates to be Santos’s handler, he had to learn the Dutch commands as well.

“I went through a day of his commands is as the beginning of the bonding stage,” said Yates. “(The bonding stage) is just to see if me and him work out, taking him to work, bringing him home, to see if we click.”

What stood out the most for Yates when the began to look for a canine was his coat.

“The first thing that stood out for me was his coat, he is a reverse brindle and I, personally, have never seen a shepherd that looks like him and he was just unique,” said Yates. “His drive looked a lot better then the other dogs we have seen. As soon as he seen myself and Chief Klotz, he instantly came up and gave us a hug.”

Santos was trained at Tri-State K-9 Services in Warren, Ohio.

According to Klotz, that the police department received enough to purchase the dog and still need to raise nearly $7,000. The remaining amount will go towards equipment that is still needed.