BATESVILLE — The Batesville Police Department welcomed its newest member June 30, and she should attract a lot of attention.
Jinx, a 54-pound Dutch shepherd, can be seen around town with her trainer, Patrolman Danny Hamilton, who says the 15-month-old K-9 came from Vohne Liche Kennels, Peru, in northern Indiana, the largest canine kennel for military and police in the country.
Even though she was 85 percent trained when the BPD acquired her, the officer and dog had to go through a three-week course to “learn how to make her track people ... (and) how she indicates when she smells narcotics.” He also became aware of obedience and how to care for the dog.
The training facility was huge. “The property had old schools, warehouses, numerous lots full of vehicles and big fields where they do the tracking .... They also have agreements with airports where we did some tracking.”
Hamilton reveals, “Jinx is trained to track marijuana, heroin, meth and cocaine .... She is also trained to track human odor. This is for the elderly or children who become lost.
“I have always wanted to have a K-9. I’ve been working toward it for years,” he reports. During their first few days on duty together, “we searched some cars and did some vehicle sniffs. She’s getting used to the vehicle, and she learned to get down when the lights and sirens are on, and that doesn’t seem to bother her too much.”
He describes his new partner as “very energetic with a lot of drive. She wants to go out and work. When she sees me in the uniform, she knows it’s time to go.”
Jinx lives with the officer and his family, who loves her. “My kids think she’s a big pillow, and my wife thinks she’s the third kid .... She’s actually fitting in really well.”
Hamilton believes the new addition “will help us with the heroin and drug problem and getting into the vehicles ... If the dog indicates on it, we’re allowed to search the vehicle.”
If members of the public see him and Jinx around town, he encourages them “to ask any questions and approach us. We’re trying to be highly visible and stay busy.”