NC Rotary Club hears update on NCPD K-9 program

Julie Davis
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

The Nebraska City Police Department’s K-9 officer, Mack, is a multitalented crime-fighting tool.

Mack and his handler, Sgt. Chris Richardson, were the guests of the Nebraska City Rotary Club on Feb. 17.

Richardson explained to club members a bit about Mack’s specialized skills. Richardson said Mack is a dual-purpose dog, which means he is certified for both narcotics and patrol work.

The narcotics certification took six to eight weeks, said Richardson, and the patrol certification took nine to 12 weeks.

Both certifications have to be renewed annually with the state of Nebraska.

When Mack finds narcotics during a search, he gives Richardson a passive indication that he has found contraband.

In his patrol role, Mack can take either an active or passive role in apprehending or detaining individuals, said Richardson. If a suspect surrenders,

Mack detains them by lying down and barking, said Richardson.

He added that Mack can chase and hold a suspect who chooses to run.

After one successful apprehension, a suspect told Richardson he was prepared to fight a human officer if one chased him. “

But he wasn’t going to fight the dog,” said Richardson.

Mack also has tracking and evidence recovery skills, and Richardson said he and Mack train every Tuesday in Bellevue with other K-9 officers and their handlers.

Mack is a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois from Slovakia, and Richardson said he hopes to have Mack on patrol for three or four more years.

Richardson said the NCPD K-9 program is funded primarily through donations, and Mack’s care and upkeep cost between $3,000 and $4,000 a year.

The Nebraska City Rotary Club meets at noon Wednesday in person at The Block House, 417 Central Ave., and via the Zoom platform.

For more information about the club and its activities, call Rex Nelson at 402-873-3166.