MUSCATINE, Iowa–When Jacob Walker started his career as a police officer, he always knew he wanted to work as a K-9 handler. When the Muscatine Police Department’s previous handler left, Walker applied for and got the position, giving him the opportunity to work with the department’s newest K-9 unit, Dino. “Being a K-9 handler was my highest-sought goal upon becoming a police officer and I’m extremely grateful to hold this position,” Walker shared.
On June 21, 2020, Walker began training with K-9 Dino at the Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver, Indiana. Just over a month later, Walker and his Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd mix partner graduated with certifications in both narcotics and patrol functions. The pair then returned to Muscatine and began their work together in the city August 3, 2020. Thanks to his training, K-9 Dino can assist Walker with apprehensions; area, article, and building searches; and with tracking. Along with regular patrols, Walker and K-9 Dino can respond to specific K-9 unit requests on an on call basis as well. Dino represents the third K-9 unit to ever work with the Muscatine Police Department.
Because two-year-old K-9 Dino’s work can put him in all sorts of dangerous situations, the Muscatine Police Department worked with the non-profit organization Vested Interest to get him his very own body armor vest. The department worked with the group to secure protective vests for each of their previous K-9 units. Both bullet and stab proof, the vest also has both a handle and leash attachment point, making it practical to use during searches and tracking as well as other patrol functions. A generous sponsorship from the Lincolnwood Training Club for German Shepherd Dogs allowed Vested Interest to help the Muscatine Police Department get K-9 Dino’s vest custom made for him free of charge. The vest arrived this month, and Walker and K-9 Dino have begun training with it.
As K-9 Dino starts breaking in his new vest, Walker feels very grateful for the additional protection it gives his partner. “I am extremely fortunate to be able to give K-9 Dino this added layer of protection,” said Walker: “K-9 Dino has been trained to selflessly put his life in jeopardy to protect myself or anyone else if the situation ever arises; the least we can do as handlers is give these dogs the protection they deserve for the amazing job that they do. His vest gives me a sense of security, as I am fully aware that each shift we work together could potentially put K-9 Dino’s life in danger.”