The Clinton County Community Corrections Program has a new four-legged officer reporting for duty. Kyzer is a 19-month-old male Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix. He was born and raised in Belarus. He was partnered with Officer Nick Hillman last week. Kyzer replaces Officer Hillman’s previous K9 partner, Rocco, who was medically retired early in his career.
“Kyzer’s primary job will be to sniff out illicit drugs,” Officer Hillman says. “He will help with searches of residences, vehicles and other areas of interest of the clients in our in-home detention program.”
The Clinton County Community Corrections Program provides in-home detention via GPS electronic monitoring of non-violent offenders. The purpose is to allow offenders to continue working and supporting their families while transitioning back into the community from being incarcerated or as a sentencing alternative to serving time in jail or prison. A majority of those offenders are serving time for drug and alcohol-related crimes.
“When you’re searching homes or vehicles there are so many places where drugs can be hidden,” Officer Hillman explains. “Places we could never see or smell. But K9s can easily detect and pinpoint drugs from a distance which also helps prevent accidental handling of dangerous drugs like fentanyl.”
Officer Hillman and Kyzer will spend the next eight weeks training with Sergeant Joey Mitchell with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Mitchell is a veteran K9 handler and an accredited NAPWDA trainer. In addition to searches for the department, Kyzer will also be available to assist schools with locker searches as well as assist area law enforcement agencies with traffic stops or other needs.
“If you see us out on the streets, feel free to stop and ask for an introduction,” Officer Hillman says. “But please don’t assume it’s okay to just walk up and pet Kyzer. Police working K9s are very attached to their handlers, so their first instinct it to protect their family first.”
Kyzer comes at no cost to county residents. He was purchased from F.M. K9 in Michigan through a small state grant and user fees. Those serving in Community Corrections must pay $13 a day to participate in the program. Those fees also helped to outfit a K9 vehicle for Officer Hillman and his K9 partners.
K9’s such as Kyser are just as important as the officers are. Please respect this very special officer.