WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The newest member of the University's police force is already taking a bite out of crime. Say hello to one of the youngest members of the police force – but don't worry, her age is just a number.
Two-year-old German shepherd Vara is trained in narcotics detection and criminal apprehension. The dog has been assigned evening-shift officer Kevin Balzer.
Vara has been with Balzer since May, and joins a Purdue police K-9 unit that now has three members.
Macho, a Dutch shepherd trained to detect explosives, joined the force in June 2010.
Nicky, also a Dutch shepherd that is trained in narcotics detection, has been with the force since 2008.
All three dogs are trained in apprehending suspects, and each is a member of the Metro K-9 unit and will be used as needed in Tippecanoe County.
"With the addition of Vara, we are now able to have a K-9 narcotics team for each night shift," Purdue police Capt. Tim Potts said. "Before now, one shift had to rely on another agency to provide a narcotics detection dog, so this makes us a stronger and more efficient police force."
Balzer added that the newest K-9 was born in the Czezch Republic.
Balzer attended a six-week training course with Vara at Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver, Ind., before the dog became an active member of the force.
Purdue Housing and Food Services provided funding to buy Vara.
Balzer has been with Purdue police for three years, having previously served in the U.S. Air Force Security Forces.
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