Whitehall’s first K9 unit is ready to hit the streets

WHITEHALL, OH (WCMH) — The Whitehall community will be getting to know a special addition to law enforcement starting Tuesday. His name is Enzo and he’s the first K9 unit the department has ever had.

The process of getting one K-9 unit can cost from $60,000 to $70,000 and the department has been asking for a K9 for quite some time.

The first ever K9 unit at The Whitehall Police Department means that more drugs will be taken off the streets in Central Ohio. Enzo is a two-year-old German Shephard from Germany who along with his handler spent the last 10 months in training.

Whitehall Police Department Chief Mike Crispen says it took time to pick out the proper handler. “A large portion of the force wanted to be the first k-9 handler as you can imagine so we had to make sure we selected the right person,” said Crispen.

Officer Jesse Hackney went through a series of grueling physical and mental tests to be picked first as Enzo’s handler and now his partner.

Jesse Hackney has been on the Whitehall Police Department for 8 years and is honored to be partnered with Enzo, “It’s beyond measure I’m pretty excited about it, it’s been a career goal of mine. I’m humbled over the fact that I get to be the first canine handler in the history of the department.”

“Excited for the community to see the capabilities of my dog, the great things he’s going to do for my community.”

The department felt for years this K9 was needed.

“There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind bringing this K9 into Whitehall is going to have a huge impact on pushing the drug problem out of Whitehall,” Crispen said.

The K-9 program is funded by money collected from multiple drug busts. The state allows that money to go towards programs that get drugs off the streets and that’s what Enzo will help do.

“They’re also capable of tracking, look for missing articles that’s in the woods or out in the yards so if someone threw a weapon away the dog will help us find that believe it or not,” said Crispen.

Crispen adds the agency has been wanting a K-9 since he started at the department. He’s excited where this will go saying “It’s going to be a good thing for Whitehall.”

A second K-9 unit is already in the works. Training begins in September and that K-9 Officer will be ready to serve on the force in 2018.

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