|MENTOR WELCOMES NEW K-9|
October, 09 2007
Thanks to donations from the community, the Mentor Police
Department is welcoming a new member to its force.
The department has acquired a new K-9 officer - a 2-year-old
black German shepherd named Niko, whose handler is Patrolman
Members of the community came together to raise money for a
new police dog after K-9 Bronco, whose handler was Rich
Gerber, was hit by a car and killed in November
The department's other K-9 is Deuce, a black and tan German
shepherd handled by Officer Ron Gunton. Police Chief Daniel
Llewellyn said $8,965 was raised by the community, an amount
that covered the cost of purchasing Niko as well as some of
"We really appreciate all those donations that came in,"
Llewellyn said. "It was very generous. Mentor has the
longest-standing K-9 program in Lake County and we are
thrilled to welcome Niko."
Niko is the department's 11th K-9 officer, Primiano
"The officers that trained me picked him," he said. "They
took his personality and mine and tried to match up the dog
After being paired with Primiano, Niko spent a month getting
to know the officer and his family, which includes wife
Katie, 3-year-old son Joey and newborn Johnathan.
"We had a month to get acclimated before we started
training," Primiano said. "He came to live with us and he
gets along great with the two small kids."
Training took 16 weeks, with Primiano and Niko often
spending eight to 10 hours a day in a classroom and working
on "homework" in the evenings.
Niko is now trained in several areas, including narcotics.
"Basically, if it's on the street, he can find it," Primiano
"He is also trained in apprehension, building and area
search, article search, tracking and aggression."
Credit : By: Jenny May | JMay@news-herald.com
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