ADA — Ada Police Officer Matt Purdy and his K9 partner, Jaeger,
visited third graders at Ada elementary this week. Teachers invited them
to come and talk to students to go along with real life stories they
are reading in class. Jaeger has been working for the Ada Police
Department for five months and has assisted in getting 207 hits of
heroin off the streets. He is trained to alert officers to the presence
of drugs as well as tracking and apprehension of suspects who flee the
scene. Students were impressed to learn that the K9 “speaks” German.
Nein — pronounced like the number nine — means no, and Officer Purdy
laughed saying Jaeger hears it often.
While Officer Purdy made it clear he trusts Jaeger and is very proud
of all that he has accomplished, he said it is important to remember he
is still a puppy. At only two years old, Jaeger has a lot of energy and
has to be kept exercised and entertained. The team just got back from
training in MI. Officer Purdy explained to students what a bite sleeve
was used for during training. When the students were allowed to ask
questions they were ready. They learned the Jaeger can run approximately
40 mph and jump eight feet high.
His training began at only six
weeks old. It is estimated that a working dog like Jaeger will put in 10
years before retiring as long as he isn’t injured in the line of duty.
were amazed to hear that Jaeger can actually retrieve suspects in
water, but that he doesn’t have a lift vest. Police dogs are expensive
and require a lot of training and care, but they are able to do things
officer’s often can’t.
Officer Purdy said the number one most
important thing between a K9 and his handler is trust. The dog has to
trust the officer and the officer has to do the same. It was clear that a
friendship has formed between the two officers that goes beyond the
call of duty.
“He trusts me fully,” Purdy said. “I wouldn’t send him into a situation that I wouldn’t go into myself.”