MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV) - Szeci is the Middleton Police Department’s first K-9.
He is a 16-month-old German Shepherd / Belgian Malinois mix who spent six weeks in Pennsylvania training with his handler, police officer Howard Statz.
“We learned everything from the narcotics search to human tracking to building searches and aggression work,” said Statz. “It’s been a very long process but it’s a lot of fun now that we have him back.”
Last September, the Middleton Police Department announced their fundraising campaign to help acquire Szeci, pay for the training, and cover the cost for a modified squad car.
“On top of the normal patrol equipment that a police car needs, we have an extra six or seven thousand dollars worth of equipment just related to the K-9,” Statz explained.
The day after the $150,000 fundraising campaign was announced Middleton Police officers responded to the workplace shooting at Paradigm.
“We were kind of hesitant to continue the campaign after that because our officers and our community went through such a traumatic incident,” said Statz. “Our chief elected to keep going with the fundraising campaign.”
Sentry Insurance, which is located in the office building adjacent to Paradigm, donated $37,000 dollars to the Middleton Police Department.
“We are also very moved by the response of the Middleton Police Department,” said Sentry Insurance CEO Peter Mcpartland. “To respond the way they did, with the bravery that they did and engaged the shooter in a way that no doubt, saved lots of lives.”
Statz believes without the generous donations of Sentry and Paradigm the department would still be fundraising.
“We never anticipated that we would get the K9 program going as rapidly as we did,” said Statz. “It certainly wouldn’t have happened without the support of all of these businesses.”