DuBOIS — When DuBois City Police Officer Zayne Rhed completes his training in late March or early April, he will have a new partner — Ace, a Belgian Malinois — in the fight against drugs in the community.

“This brings us one step closer to getting our K-9 Unit,” said city Manager John “Herm” Suplizio.

Suplizio said both Rhed and Officer Casey Doherty visited Phillips Command Dogs in Olean, New York, where Ace has been purchased. The firm will be responsible for the training of both the dog and Rhed, his K-9 handler.

“It’s extremely exciting for me and the police department,” said Rhed, a city police officer since 2012. “It’s something that I have always wanted to do.”

Ace will be trained as a dual-purpose K-9 for narcotics apprehension and tracking, said Rhed, noting that the Belgian Malinois breed is known to be successful in the military and in any facet of police life.

“They have a little bit more energy than a German Shepherd or a Dutch German Shepherd,” said Rhed. “They are extremely hard-working. He’s (Ace) really going to help out the police a lot.”

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Narcotic training for Ace began the week of Feb. 3 and is expected to be completed between March 8-15.

Once Ace completes narcotic training, Rhed will start his 80 hours of intensive training and certification at the facility.

“Once my training is finished, the dog and I are certified and ready to work,” said Rhed, estimating that will be sometime between March 23-April 6.

Rhed expressed appreciation to Sgt. Mike Shaffer, the K-9 handler for the St. Marys City Police Department, who has been helpful with answering his questions and providing information about starting a K-9 Unit.

“Once I’m certified, we are both going to train together back and forth,” said Rhed. “I’m just excited and looking forward to serving the DuBois area. It’s going to be a good thing.”

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