Plover Welcomes New K-9
By Brandi Makuski
Plover police on Monday welcomed their newest colleague to active duty.
Bill, a two-year-old German Shepard/Belgian Malinois mix, was born in the Czech Republic and comes from FMK9 in Berrien Center, Michigan.
Bill replaces the department’s first-ever K-9, Ice, who was retired last month due to behavioral issues.
“I could tell the difference right away,” said Officer Seth Pionke. “He’s kind of on auto-pilot; he’s just got the mentality of a police dog.”
Bill had already undergone training for narcotics/article tracking and obedience before being matched with Pionke in early August. The two also spent time training together in Michigan before Bill went on active duty this week.
The dog is certified by the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA), one of the only K-9 certifications recognized by the United State Supreme Court.
“To have that is a pretty big deal, even if we don’t have an official standard in Wisconsin,” Pionke said.
According to Police Chief Dan Ault, the dog cost the department about $7,000 — all funds from drug forfeitures, seized in part by Ice herself. Food and veterinary services will continue to donated by local businesses, he added.
“We’re really pleased with the dog,” Ault said. “There’s a big difference, even from an outsider’s perspective.”
The dog will be introduced to elementary students in Plover and Whiting throughout the upcoming school year, Pionke said.