The Marietta Police Department's newest recruit has hit the ground running. After less than a month on the job, he has already facilitated three drug busts and helped apprehend a subject; and he hasn't even had his second birthday yet.
Edo, the department's new drug-sniffing Belgian Shepherd, started work May 5, and is proving to be a fast learner, said the dog's handler, Patrolman Glen McClelland.
Earlier this month, Edo had his first non-bite apprehension.
JASMINE ROGERS The Marietta Times
Patrolman Glen McClelland poses with Edo.
"We went in for a guy with a warrant. He fled upstairs," said McClelland.
Edo's presence was enough to convince the suspect to give up. He turned himself in before Edo was called on to use physical force.
McClelland chose Edo in Pennsylvania in January after testing him and several other trained dogs brought over from Germany to see which dog would make the best fit as his new partner.
Edo at a glance
The Belgian Shepherd began working for the Marietta Police Department May 5.
Edo is approximately 21 months old.
He is trained to detect heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines.
"There are several different phases of testing they go through while we're there. We do a hunt test, a retrieve test. It just shows if they're gonna have the drive to do the job," he explained.
While Edo, now three months shy of his second birthday, had already been trained to follow basic commands in Germany, it wasn't until the department selected and purchased Edo that he began training to detect heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines.
The addition of Edo means the police department's K-9 police force is once again two-strong. K-9 Ajax, handled by Patrolman Matt Hickey, had been serving as the department's sole canine since McClelland's former police dog, Diego, retired in February due to arthritis.
The dogs are a huge asset to the police force, said Marietta Police Capt. Jeff Waite.
"They serve several purposes," he said. "They are used for patrolling, sniffing drugs, building searches. They're invaluable."
The fact that Edo is successfully finding drugs after just a month on the job is a great accomplishment, he added.
Diego's seven-year career with the department included countless drug busts and several suspect apprehensions, said McClelland, who purchased Diego from the department following the dog's retirement.
Diego is now enjoying the good life in McClelland's big backyard, though he has been slightly jealous of Edo when it comes time to hop in the cruiser and go to work.
"He wants nothing to do with me since I've got the new dog. He's mad," joked McClelland.