There’s a new cop on the beat.
Chevy, a 13-month-old cross breed between a German Shepherd and a Belgium Malinois, was sworn in during a special ceremony at Steves Chevrolet on Monday, Dec. 2. He will be partnered with Oakdale Police Officer Andy Stever and should be hitting the streets within a few days.
The resurrection of the department’s canine program that had been cut in 2006 was made available through nearly $25,000 in local donations.
Steves Chevrolet donated $16,000 to the department last summer for the purchase and training of the dog as well as made available at a low cost a two-wheel drive Chevrolet Tahoe from its used fleet to be specially equipped as the department’s canine patrol vehicle.
The Beta Sigma Phi Sorority donated $5,000 and Conlin’s Supply also donated to the program. During the badge presentation, Steves Chevrolet owner, Jeff Steves, commented how he got the idea to make the donation from going on a police ride-along with Police Sergeant Joe Carrillo.
“There couldn’t be a better gift than providing another officer to our department,” said Steves. “They can now go out and chase bad guys and let Chevy do all the work.”
Steves continued that using the dog would be safer for the officers and would prevent on the job injuries in potentially hazardous situations.
Albert Conlin of Conlin’s Supply said he wanted to donate because he noticed that police resources were currently tied up too long waiting for an out-of-city dog to respond to Oakdale when an incident occurred.
“I’ve been an advocate for a police canine for a long time,” said Conlin. “I think it’s a good thing coming. It could save an officer’s life.”
Chevy was purchased by the city from Ron Kloward of Top Dog Police K9 Training and Consulting of Modesto.
The dogs are taught basic obedience skills before meeting their handlers and then both participate in a several weeks long course.
“The training has gone well with Chevy and Officer Stever,” said Kloward, who is a retired Modesto Police lieutenant. “He’s a real good dog and is progressing very well. He’s going to be an asset to this community.”
Kloward said Officer Stever and Chevy will be entering their final phase of training which includes on the street evaluation.
Stever paraded the obedient pooch to meet the crowd of city dignitaries and Steves Chevrolet employees that gathered for the ceremony.
“He’s been picking up things quickly like an older dog would,” said Stever about his four-legged partner. “He’s well behaved and is doing fantastic tracking work.”
Chevy has been living with Stever and his family, doubling as a family pet since he received the dog in September.
“The first night we had him, he slept at the foot of my daughter’s bed,” said Stever. “They’ve become best friends.”
Other donors to the program included Emergency Vehicle, Inc. of Tracy, WATTCO Emergency Equipment of Fairfield, Double D Auto Repair, and Performance Brake and Muffler for the K-9 patrol vehicle preparation.
Oakdale’s Olde Towne Veterinary Hospital and Yuppy Puppy Dog Grooming of Modesto donated their services to Chevy as he serves the city.
According to Sergeant Brian Shimmell, who will supervise the program, the department will be reaching out to the public for fundraising to purchase a K-9 ballistic vest in the near future.