HENNEPIN — There’s a new officer at the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, and she’s pretty cute. Friendly and lovable yet dedicated to her work, Roxie’s likely to greet most people with a kiss.
She’s also covered in fur.
Roxie is the new police dog at the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department. Brought on board on Jan. 10, Roxie’s already responsible for seven arrests on drugs charges in just more than a month. That’s not bad for a 17-month-old German Shepherd.
Roxie and her partner Officer Jacob Frund attended an intensive 160-hour training course to become state-certified as a dual-purpose service dog. The training took place at Northern Iowa K-9, a training facility for police dogs which has recently been certified by the state of Illinois. Roxie can be used both as a drug detection K-9 and as a tracker.
“In the case of an Alzheimer’s patient or a child getting lost, she can track them down easier than a regular officer,” Putnam County Sheriff Kevin Doyle said.
Police dogs aren’t cheap, though.
“We’re close to $10,000 with Roxie, but none of that is coming from taxpayer money,” Doyle said.
Roxie is the result of donations and businesses from throughout the county who have contributed to the purchase, training and supplies to get Roxie to her certified status. In addition, county animal control officer Dr. Allison Spayer is attending to Roxie’s health at no charge at McNabb Veterinary. Bob Lee Jr. of Spring Valley Supermarket has also donated food to the cause.
“It’s great, the support we’ve gotten from businesses and the public,” Doyle said. “We had a police dog years ago, but we couldn’t afford to replace it then. We’re fortunate. People just really like police dogs.”
This is Putnam County’s second police canine. The first was a Labrador named Magi, who retired more than 10 years ago. Magi was not replaced at the time due to budget constraints.