An officer that is retiring from the Grand Rapids Police Department has possibly impacted your life and you don't even know it yet.

97.9 WGRD logo
Get our free mobile app

Police Dog

German shepherd in the forest

Dogs that are used by the police department and in the military are some of the highest trained animals on the planet and it's truly amazing what they can be trained to do.

German Shepherd training
Erchova_Veronica/Getty Images/iStockphoto

A police dog, also known as a K-9, is a specially trained animal to help police, military, and other parts of government to help law enforcement personnel. Their duties range from finding explosives, catching criminals, searching for drugs, finding missing people, and locating crime scene evidence.

K9 dog in action on training, attack demonstration
ssss1gmel/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The most common breeds that are used by law enforcement are the German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Bloodhound, Dutch shepherd, and retrievers.

Belgian shepherd dog - Malinois - stands in the park. Outdoor photo
Anita Kot/Getty Images

The Belgian Malinois (as seen above) has really become the mainstay for police and military because they have an intense drive, focus, and agility, and are smaller and have fewer health issues than German Shepherds.

Police Dog Training
ozgurdonmaz/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Police dogs are often assigned to a K-9 Unit and work with a specific handler. They are taught numerous verbal and hand commands. It takes about 8 months to a year to train a police dog it just depends on what the dog is specifically been trained to do.

Grand Rapids K-9 Retires

Grand Rapids Police Department
Grand Rapids Police Department

His name is Atos also known as "Toasty."

FOX 17 reported that Atos worked for the Grand Rapids Police Department for 8 years and his job was to detect explosives. If you have ever been to a show at Van Andel Arena or attended presidential rallies, Atos made sure you were safe.

Policeman with Belgian shepherd police dog
Mihajlo Maricic/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Atos was assigned to handler Sergeant Jeff Dionne and often visited neighborhood schools to show his skills to the kids. Atos will now spend his retirement with Sergeant Dionne's family.

Grand Rapids Police Department
Grand Rapids Police Department

Now that Atos has retired, he has made room for a new police dog by the name of Rip.

Rip is an 18-month-old Belgian Malinois and he is paired with Officer Jake Newton. Rip's job will be doing patrol work and sniffing out narcotics.

Michigan's Deadliest Animals & Critters

You may have even seen a few of these in your home or around the state.

MORE: Unique Pets You Can Legally Own In Michigan

More From 97.9 WGRD