Mentor Police K9’s Bo and Titan have been serving their community for nearly eight years and will soon be enjoying a well-deserved retirement. On the force since 2011, the duo and their handlers have been involved in countless operations in Mentor and neighboring communities.
Police dogs have a typical career of 6 to 8 years and they are starting to show some signs of age. As a result, Mentor Police will be swearing two new K9 officers later this spring. The cost to purchase and train the new recruits comes at a price of $28,770 which was recently donated to Mentor Police by Mentor Municipal Judge John Trebets.
“It’s an honor and a pleasure to provide the Mentor Police Department with this invaluable crime-fighting option,” says Trebets, “They are a tremendous asset in conducting searches for drugs, explosives, and missing persons as well as locating crime scene evidence. And, with their keen senses and size, they can go places our other officers cannot.”
Mentor Police Chief Kevin Knight agrees, “You can’t say enough about how important they are to the team. The amount of drugs they’ve discovered over the years has resulted in numerous felony prosecutions and has helped keep dealers off our streets. The protection they offer to other officers during a call is vital because we never know what we’re going to face.”
It comes as no surprise that the K9s have forged an inseparable bond with their handlers and grown to be a part of their families. Bo and Titan will spend their golden years at home with their respective handlers, Officers Bill Mackey and Terry Wurgler.
“We’re together practically every second of the waking day. Bo knows it’s his job to protect me. When he sees my uniform and hears my keys, he knows it’s time to go to work,” says Mackey, “It’s going to take him a while to adjust to retirement.”
As experienced handlers, Mackey and Wurgler volunteered to assume responsibility for the new K9 units as well. They’ll head to Pennsylvania in early Spring to meet their new partners and engage in a month of intensive training.
“It takes a couple of weeks to connect with the dogs,” adds Mackey, “They’ve come here from a different country and been trained by different people at the kennel. Once we’re in the program though, they start to understand that we are together forever, and that bond is formed.”
The new guys will have some big paws to fill as Bo and Titan have captured countless hearts as well as criminals over the past decade.
“Not only do the K9 units fight crime, they serve as wonderful ambassadors for the department at events throughout the city of Mentor,” adds Trebets, “People love them, and we’re blessed to have a K9 division to help protect and serve our community.”