Police add new K-9 to force

By Jessica Cejnar / The Del Norte Triplicate

The Crescent City Police Department has a new addition to the force.

Crescent City Police Chief Doug Plack presented Ares to the Crescent City Council last week as the force's newest K-9 officer. Ares is a 3andfrac12;-year-old German shepherd weighing 70 pounds. He joins Apollo on the police force, taking the place of Zeus, who was retired before dying in February.

"The community embraced Zeus, and a lot of people did offer their condolences and wondered if we could purchase a new (K-9)," Plack said. "We didn't have the money to do that."

An anonymous foundation that has funded Crescent City's K-9 program since 2004 was adamant about providing another dog, Plack said.

In addition to funding, the other obstacle was a shortage in manpower. Plack said sending an officer to Oxnard for six weeks of K-9 training would have created a shortage. So when it was decided that the department would get another dog, Plack said he went out on street patrol to make sure his officers had enough support.

Ares came from Germany and was trained at the Inglis Police Dog Academy in Oxnard. Gene Votruba is Ares' handler, Plack said. Ares is trained for narcotics detection and to provide officer protection, he said.

"The dog not only is a protection for the officer, a lot of times it's an instant backup for the officer if the officer should happen to be confronted by a violent subject," Plack said. "They are also a calming effect for those individuals to not lash out when an officer should show up alone on a call."

Plack said Crescent City's K-9 units have assisted every law enforcement agency in the area. They have also been used in Southern Oregon for tracking lost individuals. Just two weeks ago, Apollo helped search for a missing person in Port Orford, Plack said.

"The expertise that Apollo has in tracking and detection is really known around the area," he said. "I believe that Ares will soon share that reputation."

Reach Jessica Cejnar atjcejnar@triplicate.com

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