Four-legged officer joins the police force Sunday
Rony, K-9 officer

Ripon is just days away from having a K-9 officer on patrol for the first time since December 2011.

Officer Tim Schroeder and his new partner, Rony, expect to graduate at the end of this week from a training course in Pennsylvania certified by the North American Police Working Dog Association.

Rony is a German shepherd who, when it comes to Ripon this weekend for the first time, will live and work alongside Schroeder.

“Tim has been telling me everything is going well; he’s really excited about the dog,” Ripon Police Capt. Bill Wallner said. “There are actually 16 officers in the [K-9] program right now, and he’s really excited about his dog.”

It’s been a long process to prepare both Schroeder and Rony for active duty work as a K-9 unit.

“For the past seven weeks, they’ve been doing training to get the handler and the dog accustomed to each other,” Wallner said. “... They’ve been doing a lot of narcotics work together ... article searches and tracks ... Building searches and all those types of searches. [Last] week he was in the phase of the final certification testing of the dog.”

While Rony has been good overall, he’s proven himself particularly adept to an aspect of police work Wallner believes will help the Ripon Police Department.

“He’s really excelled in the drug detection field in the class,” Wallner said. “Officer Schroeder is really excited about that. [Especially considering] the issues we’ve had in the community with drugs, particularly heroin, which is really difficult to detect on our own.

“Drug dealers [are] put on notice: we’re bringing in another tool to help with that problem.”

Read the full story in the April 30, 2015 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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