After eight years of “distinguished service,” in the words of Brunswick Police Sergeant and K-9 Unite Supervisor Jon Page, Brunswick police K-9 Blackjack has retired.
And while Blackjack begins his retirement with his handler, Officer Mark Luciano, his successor has seemingly picked up right where Blackjack left off.
“He began two weeks ago and I think he has made five arrests, so he is obviously good,” said Brunswick Police Chief Carl Deforest.
Luciano was selected to be Nico’s handler and the department’s newest employee completed training. on April 5.
The K-9 team was certified by the state of Ohio for patrol and narcotics work, Page explained.
“K9 Nico will perform numerous police functions, to include drug searches, crowd control, search and apprehension of fleeing individuals, tracking of lost persons, building searches and recovery of evidence from crimes,” Page said.
Nico, a 1-year-old, 65-pound Belgian Malinois, was born in Holland and imported to Shallow Creek Kennels in Pennsylvania where the team training took place, Page said.
Luciano and Nico will be working the department’s 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift, Page said, as well as being available for pre-scheduled community events, Page said, noting that requests for further information or for the teams attendance at community events should be directed to Page at 330-225-9111.
Deforest said the department has high expectations for Nico, as it did for Blackjack.
“They (Blackjack and Luciano) do a great job arresting drug violators and locating suspects and items through searches,” the chief said. “The (new) team is off to a great start.”
He added that the department’s K-9 program has also provided an opportunity to share resources with Brunswick Hill Police.
“We recently entered into an agreement that allows for us to use their canine vehicle for Officer Luciano and Nico, as Brunswick Hills Police had limited application or use for the specialized vehicle after disbanding their canine program last year,” Deforest said. “This is an excellent example of the teamwork and effort to do what is best for both communities and I appreciate the township trustees and Chief Mackay’s willingness to enter into such an agreement.”
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