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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
It's the first day on the job for two new, highly-anticipated canine recruits of the Toledo Police Department.
The German shepherds are huge, but adorable. With bright eyes and wiggly tails, they were ready to hit the streets.
"These dogs and their handlers, have undergone extensive training over the last six weeks and will be a tremendous asset to the department," said Police Chief Derrick Diggs.
Joker and Damon, along with their officer partners, just finished their training and certification on Friday in Wapakoneta. They are the first two dogs to be added to the department, and each serve dual purposes patrolling and executing special functions, such as narcotics and explosives.
"He's going to be on day shift with me, and we just do routine patrol, where I will respond to wherever I think we might be able to utilize a K-9, whether it be a burglary or a B & E, or a missing child, or something along those lines, or a bomb threat. Then we'll respond," explained Officer Joseph Taylor, Joker's handler. "I'm a little nervous about it. We'll see, you know, sometimes you feel like you're not prepared but, you know, I know he is."
Prior to these new recruits, the department had just two: Tanko and Wespe, who were devoted to sniffing out drugs. While Joker and Damon are ready to start now, five more dogs will join the team later this year once their training is complete. Charly, a seventh dog donated to the department, will start in December.
These new members will elevate the department's K-9 ranks to nine.