PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Pleasant Prairie’s newest police officer was sworn in this week, after lifting a paw.

Chase, the village’s new K-9 unit officer, took part in the ceremony Monday at the Village Hall with his partner and handler Officer Mike Algiers.

Algiers stood patiently with the German shepherd, who could barely contain his excitement around dozens of village residents, police officers and the Village Board.

As he sat at the heel of Algiers, Chase panted and yipped, but his bright eyes were keenly aware of the surroundings as village’s Deputy Clerk Vesna Savic administered the oath of his office.

Chase even managed to lift a paw, with the help of Algiers, acknowledging his forthcoming duties as the department’s newest K-9 officer, before being paw-printed at the podium.

According to Police Chief David Smetana, Chase came to the agency thanks to a donation from “some very generous citizens” and was obtained from TOPS Kennels in Grayslake, Ill., earlier this year.

The village’s K-9 program is supported entirely through donations; no taxpayer dollars are used.

“Prior to that, Chase took a plane ride from the Czech Republic, where he was born and raised and initially trained, there. So, he comes from a great pedigree,” Smetana said.

“We went through a long selection process in-house to pick Officer Mike Algiers. Mike stood out as somebody who was interested in the K-9 program all along.

“He’s an outstanding officer, and I think he’ll do an outstanding job,” Smetana said of Algiers, who became interested in the K-9 program after the retirement of Echo, a police dog who served the department for eight years.

Echo is now a family dog and lives with Officer Scott Beaumier, his former handler.

“Chase has been trained in numerous areas, including apprehension and item location, so if there’s an item that a suspect drops, we can bring Chase in to try to find that item. He’s been trained in narcotics detection as well as finding lost people,” Smetana said.

For the last eight weeks, Algiers and Chase — who was named by fifth-graders at Prairie Lane Elementary School — spent eight weeks at the kennel to “fine-tune” their skills.

“So, these two have become partners. Chase actually lives with officer Algiers and his family, and we greatly appreciate that effort, as well,” Smetana said.

“It’s one thing to have a dog with you seven, eight hours a night at work. It’s another thing to have that dog with you 24 hours a day. So, we’re just absolutely thrilled to have Chase along.”

Crime Report (July 16-17, 2019)

Here are the crime stories published online and in the print product of the Kenosha News July 16-17, 2019.