The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 15, 2013

Drug dog ‘training’ his handler

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

SUNBURY — Brecken has been on the Sunbury police force for three weeks and, according to his trainer, the 2-year-old German shepherd is doing just fine.

Thanks to Northumberland County President Judge Robert Sacavage and chief probation officer John Wondoloski, Brecken was donated to the city after his original handler, Chris Kemble, left the probation department for a new job.

Brecken had been with adult probation before becoming part of the Sunbury police force.

Brecken is certified in drug detection, tracking and protection, Sunbury officer and trainer Scott Hause said.

“This is a highly skilled dog,” he said. “He will be a huge help to us.”

Wondoloski said Brecken has recovered several amounts of drugs and has helped the probation department track individuals when probation officers are in search.

Losing the dog was difficult for Wondoloski, but knowing he is close is a plus.

“The dog becomes part of the family,” Wondoloski said. “We are happy he will be close by.”

Brecken is getting used to being with Sunbury police, Hause said.

“He’s training me,” Hause joked. “We are feeling each other out and we are getting used to each other.”

Brecken takes his commands in German, Hause said.

Sunbury already has a K-9 unit, which was led by Rocky, a chocolate Labrador, who recently retired, so bringing in Brecken was a perfect fit, Sunbury Mayor David Persing said.

“We are glad to have him,” he said. “This is also a great way to be working together with the county.”

Hause might have summed up what other Sunbury officers are thinking about having Brecken on the force.

“He’s our all star,” he said. “He really is a rock star.”