ATHENS — Officer C.T. Lowe of the Athens Police Department will have a new partner come August. His new partner will be two-year-old Doberman Pinscher, Mathias.
Mathias is IPO certified and will be triple trained, meaning he will be trained in tracking, narcotics and personal protection. Lowe says that Mathias will be community and kid-friendly, but when on duty can transition quickly to on-duty responsibilities.
Lowe explains getting a K-9 unit starts with a discussion at the town council level to see if they are interested, then moves to finding a dog by talking to different breeders and schools that breed and train the dogs.
When choosing the right dog for the area and the police department, Lowe says, “You have to find a dog that has the temperament to do the things that you want it to. . . . one thing about a dog and a K-9 officer is they have to have a bond.”
Lowe has personal experience with Dobermans, knowing their loyalty and focus. Other factors that went into the decision of a Doberman is the build, agility, and overall temperament of the dog.
“When you find a dog that fits what you need, then you have to pay for the dog,” says Lowe.
The total cost for Mathias along with training and certifications is $10,000. Lowe states that this cost also includes modifications to the vehicle - kennel insert, popper for the door, alarm system for the dog’s safety while in the car - and other small things.
“I always try to make things cost-effective for the taxpayers,” says Lowe. He does this by taking good care of things that they already have and asking other departments if they have any of the items.
Lowe says the community has come together to help raise the money to get the K-9 unit started. One local business donated the initial $5,000. Two other local community members started a gofundme account, which has raised nearly $1,500 in a week.
“With the time that is going on right now with all the negative, this is the community that has reached out and said ‘hey, we want this,’ and the community has bought into Athens and the Athens Police Department,” explains Lowe. “They have enough trust in us to know that we are trying to do what is right to help everybody. Your reward for working with your community and win your community over is when things like this happen and they get behind you and support it.”
Lowe also expressed gratitude for the mayor and the town council, saying that “they are all on board with whatever is best for the town . . . they do it because they love where they live.”
The August timeline for Mathias’ arrival includes one week of travel from Germany and then three weeks of training.
You can stay up-to-date with updates and information on Mathias through the July and August Athens Town Council Meetings and well as minutes for those meetings.
To make an electronic donation, you can visit https://gf.me/u/x9mwna.
A donation by check can also be made.
Heather Hamilton is a freelance reporter for the Princeton Times. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org