After the passing of Mount Gilead Police K-9 Officer Seger, his former handler Sgt. Tom Cronenwett and the department have begun looking for a way to replace their four-legged friend.

“I truly feel that Seger and I made a positive impact in our community and hope that I can continue with a new canine,” Sgt. Croenwett said in prepared statement he read at the June 20 Mount Gilead Council meeting.

The Mount Gilead Police Officer, after unanimous approval from council, is exploring the possibility of receiving a new, trained canine from the US Air Force.

“When we found out that Seger was diagnosed with the lymphoma, an individual who served in the United States military approached me and offered to help get a replacement, if Seger would not be able to return to duty,” Cronenwett continued.

The US Air Force has a program in place that assists law enforcement agencies find canine officers that come from the 341st training squadron at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

The dogs in the program have never formally served in the USAF because they do not meet the rigorous standards of the service branch.

Cronenwett assured council members police have slightly lower expectations for canines than does the Air Force and the dogs enlisted in the program meet the department’s grade.

Council members proceeded to ask the officer about the costs of obtaining and training the police dog but both Crownenwett and Chief Brian Zerman stated that the procedure could be done without cost to the village.

Both Seger’s basic veterinarian services and food were donated to the department, which is expected to continue with a new K-9 officer.

Should Cronenwett find a replacement, he will be required to attend a portion of police dog state training sessions with his new partner.

By Zach Jones

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Reach Jones at 419-946-3010