Sgt. Chris Marlow is ready to hand off the lead for the Bellefontaine Police Department’s canine duties and Officer Jerrod Hostetler is ready for the responsibility.
Sgt. Chris Marlow poses with Arco after the dog returned to full time duty in 2016 following reconstructive knee surgery. (PHOTO | EXAMINER FILE)
“As much as I enjoy working in the canine unit, I don’t know if I am prepared to give the commitment to the department to handle another dog,” Marlow said. “I’m at a point where I can take retirement in a few years and go elsewhere.
“Also, there might be an opportunity for a promotion here.”
Marlow’s partner, Arco, was recently certified for another year of service, but it will be the nine-year-old Belgian Malinois’ last.
Arco has wrapped up seven years of service and will end with eight, about as much as a handler can hope for.
“He still wants to do the job,” Marlow said of his furry partner, “but when I work him hard, it takes a couple days for him to recover.”
Retiring Arco opens the way for Marlow to leave a post he has held since 2005 and help with the transition to another handler.
Hostetler, who was one of five to apply for the post, said he is ready to give the next six to 10 years to the job.
“When I was moved into drug interdiction full-time, my responsibilities went up,” he said. “The department was trusting me to handle seized narcotics, guns and cash.
“Now, they’re trusting me to handle and take care of a $15,000 dog, so my responsibilities will be amped up even more. But I’m ready to take that on.”
Hostetler grew up with large dogs on the family farm off county roads 18 and 43. He also watched handlers during his Army National Guard service in Afghanistan.
Canine handling has been an interest for years, he said, and, when he joined the city department in 2014, he began working with retired Officer Scott Stewart and Marlow during their weekly training sessions.
Read complete story in Monday's Examiner.
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