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West Allis welcomes its newest K-9 officer

March 26, 2013

West Allis - The newest officer on patrol in West Allis is 2 years old.

His name is Jax, a German shepherd and Belgian malinois mix, who raised his paw and was sworn in last week before the West Allis Police and Fire Commission.

With his handler, Officer John Cerqua, Jax will track bad guys, apprehend them (if necessary) and search for evidence.

He joins Sonny, 4, a black Labrador retriever who is in his third year with the West Allis police, and Diesel, 5, a sable shepherd, who has been with the department since October 2009. Diesel also is a patrol dog while Sonny has been trained to sniff out drugs.

West Allis police had been operating with just two dogs, but the success of the golf outing fundraisers enabled the department to add a third canine officer. The cost was about $11,000 to buy and train Jax, said Captain Barry Waddell, who supervises the canine unit. Tax dollars aren't used to obtain police dogs.

The next golf outing to raise money for police dogs will be in June. Golf outing proceeds are saved from year to year so that there is enough to replace a retiring dog.

An appreciation night will be held May 30 for all the businesses that contribute heavily to the success of the golf outings.

- Jane Ford-Stewart

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