The Denison Police Department held a public ceremony, on Friday, to introduce the newest member of the police force, K-9 officer Ivar, to the public. Ivar is the first police dog that the Department has had in service since the previous police dog, Chef, retired in 2002.

The Denison Police Department held a public ceremony, on Friday, to introduce the newest member of the police force, K-9 officer Ivar, to the public. Ivar is the first police dog that the Department has had in service since the previous police dog, Chef, retired in 2002.


"A drug dog is a game changer," said Denison Police Chief Jay Burch.


Ivar, a Belgian Malinois, was purchased by the Department after a two years of consideration, said Burch. The Department decided on the breed due to its similarities to the traditional German Shepherd, while lacking the health problems that the breed faces, said Lt. Mike Eppler.


The addition of Ivar to the police force cost about $26,000 for the dog, training, and equipment, said Eppler. Eppler said that the bulk of the costs were paid with donations from organizations within the community.


The Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association raised over $23,000 towards the project in three months, with additional funding coming from the Denison Independent School District, said Paula Gurak with the CPAAA.


"I am so excited," said Gurak. "I can’t wait to see him in action."


Officer William Deering was chosen to be Ivar’s partner and handler. Deering, a four year veteran of the DPD, said this was his first experience with handling a police dog. Ivar spent eight weeks training for the Department in Louisiana in addition to basic training that he received in Europe. Deering then joined Ivar for an additional month of training. The pair go through continued monthly training with the Sherman Police Department and Grayson County’s K-9 units.


Deering said the Ivar is a dual purpose police dog who has been certified to detect five varieties of narcotics, and has been trained to both search for suspects and protect his handler.


Ivar has already gotten results for DPDt since starting this month. In a traffic stop, Ivar was able to recover a large quantity of methamphetamine, said Burch. Deering also said that Ivar was used in pursuing a suspect who had hidden in a building. When Ivar’s presence was announced, the suspect surrendered, said Deering.


The CPAAA was recognized in the ceremony for its contributions to the project. Lt. Fred Tillman said that the commitment from the community is what makes this important.


The DPD is currently working on acquiring a bullet-proof vest for Ivar. If things go well with the K-9 unit, there may be room for more police dogs in the future, said Eppler.