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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

See Spot patrol

The Charleston Police Department has added a new member to its team, and he is only 14 months old.

“He’s like my baby,” said patrol officer Heath Thorton. “Only. a quite bit more aggressive.”

Thorton is in charge of the police’s latest member of its K-9 Unit, Ivan, a Dutch-Malinois mix. Ivan was added to the K-9 Unit last week and is already patrolling the streets.

Ivan is the fourth dog to join the Charleston police force, and his addition makes it the first time the department has had two K-9 units at a time.

“He soared through the candidacy tests and was a great dog to start training,” said Chief of Police Mark Jenkins. Ivan follows the footsteps of Edo, a German Shepard, who has been a part of Charleston for six to seven years now, Jenkins said.

Ivan went through 14 weeks of rigorous training that included narcotics investigation, and search and rescue. Ivan also took part in a three-week course on extensive criminal apprehension, which was also new to Thorton.

“I worked at Cumberland County’s station with a black lab named Sadie,” Thorton said. “She couldn’t do criminal apprehension, so it is quite different with Ivan.”

Jenkins said training a new police dog has its benefits over training a new human recruit.

“A K-9 officer can come to work as soon as he is done with ‘academy,’ where a regular officer would have several more weeks of training in the field,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said there are differences between Ivan and Edo, the German Shepard. “Edo is bigger and more aggressive, but it’s a controlled aggression,” Thorton said. “He has no problem apprehending any subject.”

Ivan is a ball of energy who will gain more self-control with experience.

Krystal Moya can be reached at 581-7942 or at [email protected].

See Spot patrol

See Spot patrol

Charleston patrol officer Heath Thorton glances at Ivan, a 14-month-old Dutch-Malinois who’s the newest member of the police department. “He’s like my baby. Only… a quite bit more aggressive,” Thorton said. (Krystal Moya

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