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Landis Police gets K-9 program

Landis Police Sgt. Kevin Young communicates with his partner in German. The two have been working together for only a short time, but hope it will be a lasting partnership.
Young’s partner is a two-year-old German Shepherd named Baks and is part of the newly formed K-9 program.
Young, a 10-year law enforcement officer, is the first Landis officer to become part of the program. Baks was donated to the department from Von Hunter Kennel in Kannapolis, where owner Tim Hunter, trained and certified Baks and Young. In the future Young and Baks will receive annual certification through the N.C. Police Dog Association.
Before if the department needed the aid of a police dog officers had to wait for a dog from the Rowan Sheriff’s Office or the Kannapolis Police Department.
“It’s very rewarding. I feel lucky to be the first handler, it could’ve been a number of people. I hope I can do the department justice for the opportunity to have the first K-9,” Young said.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office provided the Landis Police with a cage outfitted to fit Young’s patrol vehicle. The cage wasn’t being used by the sheriff’s office.
“It will be a good asset to the community as well as our department,” said Police Chief Bob Wood.
Wood has been working to establish a program since September, he said.
Wood said the cost to implement the program was at little cost to taxpayers. When Baks has regular check-ups it will be through South Ridge Veterinary Hospital. Wood said the Kannapolis facility will work with the department at a discounted rate for Baks’ care.
Baks is able to provide officer protection, drug and narcotics detection. He can also track criminals and help if there is a missing child or an elderly missing person. The German Shepherd can also search buildings, search for suspects and objects. Baks can also be used by neighboring China Grove Police Department, which does not currently have a K-9 program. China Grove has been working toward its own program.
Baks and Young just completed some in-house training Monday and are now hitting the streets. Young will continue training with Baks including any behavioral correction, he said.
“Once again the Landis Police Department has served our town well by arranging this service to the citizens and at no direct cost to the taxpayers. I wish to thank those that so generously donated to make this a reality,” said Mayor James Furr.

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