Menomonie, WI (WEAU) - Dogs have always been known as man's best friend, but an area sheriff's department has a new four legged colleague! His name is Jax and he's using his nose not only to track but to stop crime.
"We've been in training since March 3rd,” says Jason Stalker
Jax is not your average face on the force.
Jason says, "He's a male German Shepard and he came from the country of Slovakia in Europe. He was born in September in 2012."
He's the newest addition to the Dunn County Sheriff's Department.
"We go over to St. Paul Police Department, every day, Monday through Friday. [It's] 8 hours a day and [I] train with the dog,” says Stalker.
For the last 5 years, Jason Stalker has been a deputy with the department and is Jax's trainer.
"Some days are certainly frustrating, but it’s really cool to see the dog learn and pick up on things and see your dog improve is pretty cool,” says Stalker.
"We look for somebody that's going to be consistent, motivated to take care of something like that. A K-9 officer has to spend the last half hour of their shift cleaning out the kennel, doing the stuff with the dogs, taking care of the dogs,” explains Dennis Smith, Dunn County Sheriff.
While it may seem like a man's best relationship there is and has to be a difference.
Jason says, "We have to keep in mind that he's a working dog. I may have to send him into situations that are fairly dangerous and I can't be reluctant to do that. Mainly he'll be used as a locating tool to find small children or elderly with dementia, things like that that maybe has wandered away from home.”
Especially in a rural setting, Jax will protect & serve Jason in a key way.
"It could take up to 20 plus minutes for a backup officer to arrive if you were to need help. If I were on a traffic stop and need help immediately and he's right there.”
The department hasn't seen this type of canine since the 1990's. It currently uses has a bloodhound for tracking, but thanks to community having Jax on the force was possible.
"We've been very happy with the public and businesses in the area have been very generous in helping us out and keeping things going. Paying for most of the costs we've had so far,” says Smith.
"Just want to thank everybody that's donated to our department and has made this a possibility,” says Jason.
Right now Jax and Jason are doing traffic and apprehension. Jax's last day of training will be May 22nd. If you would like to donate to the department to help Jax, you can find more information on the Dunn County Sheriff's Department. We have a link underneath the picture.