Courtesy Nicole Dew; Neighbor Newspapers
K9 Kyro, a nearly 2-year-old German shepherd, joined the force in mid-November and has quickly become a close companion to his handler, officer Chris Ward.
“Not only is he a police officer for the city of Milton, he’s a member of my family,” Ward said.
“I spend more time with him than I do anyone on this earth — more than my wife.”
Kyro rides in Ward’s squad car during the day and goes home with him each night.
“The addition of him has already benefited the department greatly,” Ward said. “He gets used very frequently for narcotics searches. He’s only been on the road for two months and he’s already been deployed roughly 10 times for narcotics searches. All but one led to arrests.”
He said Kyro has also been used by Alpharetta police for drug searches and by Roswell police for a missing person search.
“He’s a great tool,” Ward said. “When we need to locate narcotics in any kind of area, he has the ability to sniff out the actual controlled substance and locate it for us. He can do it a lot better than we can, a lot more efficiently.
“Under the Carroll doctrine, we don’t have to have a search warrant to search a vehicle if probable cause exists, and my K9 is probable cause when the proper indications are shown for the odor of controlled substances. That’s what I use him mostly for.”
Kyro has been trained in obedience, substance detection, criminal apprehension by biting and tracking, and searching for people and evidence. Custom Canine Unlimited in Maysville taught Ward how to work with the K9.
Kyro was born in Germany and then trained for about a year in Holland before coming to Maysville, Ward said.
Until Kyro’s arrival, Milton had been without its own K9 officer for nearly a year. K9 DaSilva, the city’s former police dog, retired in December 2012 after his handler left the police department.
The department reached out to the community last year to raise money to bring K9 Kyro to Milton. A golf fundraiser in May brought in about $24,000.