The Town of Danville's K9 program has been active since February 2006 when Officer Mike Ireland and his partner K9 Donna hit the streets. After a month of patrol training and another month of narcotics training, Mike and Donna were assigned to the Town of Danville's patrol division. After a six year career, Donna retired and the Town has a new K9 unit consisting of Officer Tom Rossberg and his partner Chef. Chef, like Donna, is a Belgian Malinois. Often confused with German Shepherds, the Malinois is a similar but different breed. The Malinois are gaining popularity as service dogs nationwide. They are generally slightly smaller and leaner then German Shepherds. This ultimately leads to less pressure on the critical joints (elbows, hips, backs) and increases their working life.
Chef's role as a Police K9 includes many functions. He has been trained to track subjects (from missing children to felonious suspects), find articles with fresh human scent, sniff for narcotics, search buildings, areas, and open spaces, apprehend suspects, and more. Usually the mere presence of a K9 will gain compliance out of otherwise unruly people. Chef also is a great public relations outlet and does dozens of demonstrations each year. As with many K9's, Chef can be very social in the right setting. The K9 program in Danville has seen a measurable level of success. During her tenure, Donna had many notable finds. Her first weekend out of narcotics training she located 4 ounces of methamphetamine in a car, leading to the arrest of the driver. Donna also found a missing elderly man hiking on Mt. Diablo almost 8 hours after he went missing. She has also trailed missing children with success. Most recently, she trailed a 12 year old Autistic girl that wandered away from home during the night. After trailing her for 5 blocks, Donna found her off the roadway playing in a construction area.
With Chef, it is certain that the program will continue to see great success and Chef's career will be a bright one.