New canine officer hits the streets

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

Antrim County Sheriff's Deputy Skyler Skrobecki is shown with his new law enforcement partner Bricko, a 15-month-old German shepherd now in training.

BELLAIRE – The Antrim County Sheriff's Office has a new deputy out and about on the streets. He's even visited with Santa Claus.

"We were given the green light just recently to start attending events and meet with the public," said Deputy Skyler Skrobecki of his new canine partner, “Bricko,” a German shepherd from Poland.

"So we went to Bellaire's Light Up The Night parade, and just last weekend, visited with Santa Claus and Buddy the Elf at the Market M88," Skrobecki, a resident of Bellaire, said. "We both had a great time."

Purchased by the department earlier this year, Bricko is just 15 months old, and still learning the basics, Skrobecki explained.

"It's a slow and steady process to train a police dog. Just like any other dog, they have to grow up before they can be considered fully trained and completely reliable. So, we're taking it a little at a time."

The two, which were introduced to each other as soon as Bricko stepped off the plane from his native Poland, successfully completed a five-week training course on Oct. 23 at the Mid-Michigan Police Canine Academy in Eaton Rapids, where most of Michigan's canine officers receive their training.

At the academy, Bricko and Skrobecki learned the fine art of narcotics detection, tracking, search and rescue, and suspect apprehension.

"We were told we did really well," Skrobecki said proudly. "Now, we're focusing on obedience, and learning what it's like to go on road patrol."

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