New four-legged officer reporting for duty

by Sara Hill

There’s a new “Boss” in town.

Boss, a 17-month-old German Shepherd imported from the Czech Republic, has officially joined the ranks as Brecksville Police Department’s K-9. He replaces Peto, who retired in June, and remains in the custody of his handler while working for the department, Brecksville Sgt. Michael Bauman.

Patrolman John Muller has been appointed as the department’s handler for Boss. It is his first time being a K-9 handler and the pair completed their six-week training course in August at Excel K9 in Hiram.

They duo will continue maintenance training twice a month moving forward to reinforce the skills they have learned, Muller said.

“It’s a rigorous course,” Muller said of the Excel K9 training regimen. “Dogs are trained in tracking, bite work, article search, narcotics detection, building and area searches and more.”

As for 10-year-old retiree Peto, he was recognized by Brecksville Mayor Jerry Hruby and Brecksville City Council with a Resolution of Commendation.

Peto aged out of his police dog duties, Hruby said.

“Peto performed many exceptional duties such as the recognition of drugs, apprehension of suspects, searches for contraband, and protection of his handler,” Hruby said in a June 10 “Message from Mayor Hruby” email newsletter. “Peto was also an excellent public relations K-9, especially with the children he encountered, and in, at times, calming distraught citizens.”

Muller said he is enjoying his new role as Boss’s handler. The selection process is something staff interview and put in for, he explained.

“It’s a lot of work owning a new puppy, and at that, a highly trained new puppy,” Muller, a father of young sons, said. “We keep up with our training because the more you train, the more it becomes repetition. It’s like having a toddler.” ∞

The Brecksville Police Department’s new
K-9 officer, Boss, replaces former K-9 officer
Peto, who retired earlier this year.
Photo submitted.