K-9 Iwo retires
After completing over 9 years of service to the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, the K-9 German Shepherd, Iwo (pronounced eye-vo) has been retired from service. With an outstanding career trained as a tracker and in narcotics detection, Iwo received a serious injury in October of 2003 when he was conducting a search of the Agway Plant in the Village of Lyons. The dog fell 15 feet to a lower floor and required $1600 in medical fees and several weeks of recovery.
In his career, Iwo was credited with his first success story after tracking a running DWI offender for over two miles in Walworth. In another incident, the trained canine assisted police in the apprehension of a drug dealer on the run. He located a missing mentally challenged person who wandered away from a group home in Macedon. The dog was instrumental in locating drug money during a search warrant on King Street in Williamson.
When Jake's Bar and Grill in Marion was robbed, Iwo successfully tracked the perpetrator down in a field in the Town of Ontario.
In 2000, the dog located one of the men wanted in a string of car thefts in western Wayne County. Ironically, the dog also assisted in the capture of Animal Rights activist, Brian Pease, for trespassing at Marshal Farms in the Town of Huron.
The dog attended numerous County Fairs, fireman carnivals performing K-9 demonstrations, school drug searches and missing person tracking cases.
While assisting the Palmyra Police Department, Iwo helped locate 108 sale packets of cocaine, hidden in the dash board of a vehicle.
Iwo's last apprehension was in the Town of Marion when a suspect took off after stealing a vehicle in Palmyra.
As the years passed and hip problems made it more difficult to do his job, K-9 handler, Deputy John Heckle, knew the active patrol days were coming to an end for Iwo. Iwo was officially retired recently and will live out his days with Heckle.
The Sheriff's Office does not have a budget to buy and train a replacement K-9. Deputy Heckle explained that a good K-9 and handler takes between $4000 to $5000 to initially train. Then, constant schooling is necessary, throughout the active life of the dog, to keep them in top form for their specific tasks.
Deputy Heckle said he thoroughly enjoyed his service with Iwo and hoped private contributions and civic group donations would make it possible for the Sheriff's Office to obtain another K-9 for active duty with the force.