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Officer gets new canine partner

By Staff
NEW PARTNER Meridian police officer Ricky Roberts spends time with his new canine partner, Madoek, a 20-month-old Belgian malinois. They are expected to begin working together in September. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Aug. 15, 2001
After his canine partner and constant companion died in June, Meridian police officer Ricky Roberts thought he could never work in the field again.
Breston was involved in a 2000 car accident; he never fully recovered from his injuries and eventually died June 2. Roberts still gets emotional thinking about Breston.
Training the dog
Today, however, Roberts spends his time training with 20-month-old Madoek. The dog came from Amsterdam in July; Roberts trains with the dog eight hours a night, five days a week.
The training originally was scheduled to last eight weeks, but Roberts said Madoek is "progressing much faster than we thought."
Fresh off the plane from Amsterdam, Madoek already had accomplished basic obedience, apprehension and article search. Now, he must learn to detect drugs.
How soon the pair will hit the streets is up to Madoek, but Roberts figures they might begin patrolling full-time by the summer's end.
Breston died early
Madoek, a Belgian malinois, was ordered shortly before Breston died. The plan, Roberts said, was to retire the physically ailing 10-year-old Breston and let Madoek work in his place.
Roberts' older brother, Buck, said that Madoek has helped his sibling recover from Breston's death.
Madoek makes progress
Roberts said he is careful not to judge Madoek by Breston's standard of work.
Once Madoek's training is complete, he will be considered a "dual purpose" dog meaning that he will be accomplished at drug detection and criminal apprehension, even in the water.
The pair should hit the streets on full-time patrol sometime in September.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for the Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3226, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.