The Tiffin Police Department's canine officer has officially joined the ranks.
Andy, a 19-month-old Belgian Malinois, and his handler, Officer Jake DeMonte, graduated Thursday from Lynnwood Kennels in Fremont, according to a release from the Tiffin Police Department.
DeMonte has been working with Andy since March, when the police department purchased him after Tommy, the department's fourth police service dog, died of cancer. DeMonte also was Tommy's handler.
All costs in obtaining Andy, including his training, equipment and a bullet/stab proof vest had been provided by private donors worldwide.
"A police dog is an invaluable tool," DeMonte said in the release. "The dog can assist the department in so many ways, and thanks to the wonderful donations, we are able to continue doing so without burdening the city with extra expenses."
Previous equipment from the department's canine unit also will be used, according to the release.
Andy, a dual-purpose police dog certified through the state and through the North American Police Work Dog Association, is named after two fallen officers from northwest Ohio, State Trooper Andy Baldridge and Sandusky Police Officer Andy Dunn, who both died in the line of duty.
According to the release, DeMonte and Andy are trained in article search, obedience, tracking, apprehension, reasonable force and the detection of drug odors.
"The canine unit gives us one more tool to assist the police department in guarding this community," Chief Fred Stevens said in the release. "Besides the very important road work and call outs in times of emergencies, the canine unit puts on many school demonstrations, community talks and presentations."
If a group or organization is interested in a public demonstration, DeMonte can be contacted at