Local News

Story published: 07-09-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Police department chooses newest K9 handler, in process of selecting dog

By Kristen Swing
Executive Editor

The Jonesborough Police Department will soon have a second K9 on the force after several months with just one four-legged crime fighter on the roll.

Police K9 Rio retired earlier this year at the same time his handler, Scottie Greene, resigned from the police department.

That left K9 Gregor and handler Mike McPeak as the only remaining canine team.

At the time of Rio’s retirement, Police Chief Matt Hawkins said he had every intention of getting another police K9.

Now, that process is under way.

Two town officers applied to become the agency’s next K9 handler. Officer Jamie Aistrop was selected for the job recently and now awaits the purchase of his partner.

“We’re currently evaluating vendors and dogs,” Hawkins said. “We’re going to take our time. If we get the wrong handler, or the wrong dog, that’s an expensive mistake.”

Police K9s cost thousands of dollars and the cost to train and certify a K9 team is also high, Hawkins said.

Money from the town’s Drug Fund will be used to get the newest crime fighting team out on the street.

He hopes to have the dog purchased and living with Aistrop by the end of the year. At the latest, he expects the pair to be certified and on the road by next spring.