Wilmington’s police dog scheduled for replacement

WILMINGTON – The city’s police dog, K-9 Miko, will retire and be replaced, Acting Police Chief Neil Rager announced Monday.

“Similar to people, dogs have a unique personality influenced by genes, environment, and experiences. Many animals experience behavior changes over time, and unfortunately, Miko has gone through a change that does not fit with his duties in the police department,” said Rager in a news releaes from the city on Monday. “It has become clear to us that K-9 Miko’s emerging aggressive behavior is incompatible with our police work.”

Wilmington police officer and K-9 handler Jordan Ianson was injured during a training exercise last summer while attending a weekly K-9 training with Miko in Waynesville with other K-9 units from southwestern Ohio.

During a training scenario, Ianson sustained injuries, having been bitten by Miko. Ianson received medical care from Clinton Memorial Hospital and was said to be fine, according to WPD, and “a thorough inquiry is underway to ensure the safety of the program” the News Journal reported last July.

Miko was then kenneled with master trainers at the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s main K-9 training site in Marysville, where he underwent fitness for duty assessments.

K-9 Miko joined the force in 2020 with the assistance of a grant from The Matt Haverkamp Foundation. According to the Ohio Revised Code, the officer to whom a police dog is assigned shall be given the first option to adopt. K-9 Miko’s assigned officer has agreed to adopt him.

“Miko’s presence on the force during the past two years was important and vital to the investigative work undertaken on a daily basis by the police department, and we are grateful that we will have a replacement K-9 unit,” said Rager.

Mayor John Stanforth also said he expects a replacement.

“We are grateful for all that Miko has done for us. We have every expectation of finding a new police dog that is a better fit for our department and community,” said Stanforth.

K-9 police dogs are a valuable asset and help take drugs off the streets and keep the community safe, Stanforth said.

Miko is a Belgian Malinois and German Shepard mix and was sourced from the Von Licke Kennel in Indiana in 2020. His police dog handler was selected among three patrol officers who applied, and together the pair underwent weeks of intensive training concluding in state certification.

A similar process is expected to be undertaken to replace Miko beginning immediately, Stanforth said.

K-9 Miko will still have a local home with his handler.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/06/web1_WPD-Badge.jpgK-9 Miko will still have a local home with his handler.

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/06/web1_Miko.jpgFile photo

News Journal