A Streetsboro police officer showed off his new four-legged partner. Eight-week-old Reno, a Belgian Malinois, will undergo about a year of training, before replacing nine-year-old Bo.
“He’s going to be a dual-purpose K9,” Officer Aaron Coates said. "He’s going to be used for criminal apprehension, drug detection, tracking, evidence recovery.”
Reno’s nose will be instrumental during traffic stops, searches and undercover operations, especially helpful in the escalating fight against heroin and opiates. Ohio leads the nation in opiate overdose deaths.
“They can smell it before we even know it’s there,” Officer Coates said.
But there are safety concerns, since dogs often eat the items they find.
“You have to be very careful because they will ingest it sometimes accidentally and we carry Narcan for those situations,” Officer Coates said, referring to the opiate antidote spray normally used on humans.
“You try your best but they’re animals,” he said. "Sometimes those things happen.”
Last year Streetsboro also added K9 Kaya to the mix. Kaya is Reno’s uncle.