A city-wide birthday party was held Friday for one of Rhinelander Police Department’s newest recruits.
K-9 Odin, who joined the force last fall, turned two years old February first.
His handler, officer Chad Brown, said the party is also an opportunity for him to thank the community for their support over the past year. “Everyone who has donated, purchased one of the hero dogs, I’d love to be able to shake everyone’s hands,” Brown said. “The best way we can do that is offering a meet and greet session. I just want to say a huge thank you to the community.”
Brown said he and Odin are doing well together, but added that there is a lot more to being a handler than he first thought, in the way of more administrative tasks, but it’s “totally worth it.” “I train with him almost every day. We have to do something – just now I was putting odors out for him, to give him something to do,” Brown explained. “We have to introduce him to new scenarios every day, too, because if he hasn’t seen it he won’t be successful.”
Odin, the department’s fourth K-9, goes to work with Brown every day, riding with him to every call. But sometimes he stays in the car, depending upon Brown’s assessment of the situation. “There’s a lot of situations I just can’t bring him into because if I have him with me he is the only tool I can use at that moment,” Brown said. “So I have to assess the situation before I can bring him out of the car, really.” Brown added that he and Odin are a team, which is why it is called a “K-9 unit.” “He’s no good without me, and I’m no good without him,” Brown said.
Odin has been deployed some 25 times since he’s been with the department, helping to track missing people and sniffing cars for drugs.
The Rhinelander Police Department will be getting a second K-9 sometime this year from Crossroads K9 Rescue, an organization formed to honor Everest Metro Police Detective Jason Weiland who was killed in the line of duty. Fundraising for the dog and necessary equipment and supplies is already underway.