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K-9 officer loves his work

By Staff | May 30, 2008

Estherville Police Department Officer Matt Reineke and his K-9 officer Max visited Estherville Rotarians Thursday. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

Achtung, Max!

Estherville Police Department officer Matt Reineke had to brush up on his German in order to work with his latest partner, a 2-year-old German shepherd named Max who was trained in the Czech Republic in German. Max, the latest addition to the Estherville Police Department, replaces Cyber who retired after a decorated career.

Reineke, who has been the handler of both K-9 units, keeps them at home where his family is undoubtedly extremely well protected.

Reineke and Max visited Estherville Rotarians Thursday to fill them in on what a dog’s day is like with the EPD.

For Max, it all began when the Iowa Lakes Community College Criminal Justice Club held a donkey basketball fundraiser to help raise money to buy him. That was the beginning. Grants and a letter campaign helped raise the $8,500 total for Max and his and his handler’s training. Reineke spent two weeks in Liberty, Mo., getting acclimated to Max and his new partner to him.

While some K-9 units specialize in drug interdiction, cadaver recovery, or water rescue, Max is trained in a variety of areas, including finding illegal drugs, building searches, and suspect apprehension. Reineke said Max is trained “passively”, meaning he will search out and sit by an area where drugs are located. Reineke also wanted a dog such as Max that could go into schools and would be friendly with students.

In addition to the cost of Max and his training, Reineke has a “door popper” which is good for a quarter-mile away. If he’s away from the car, he can remotely open the back driver’s side door and Max can go into action.

To date, Max has assisted in one arrest.

At just two, though, he has a long and illustrious career ahead.