Kumar, the Adams Police Department's new K-9, and his handler Officer Curtis Craine gave a demonstration of their abilities on Thursday at a Community Night at the Adams Visitors Center.
ADAMS, Mass. — Kumar, the Adams Police Department’s new K-9, is in service and fighting crime.
The 2-year-old German Shepard has been working with Police Officer Curtis Crane since January. After eight months of training, both Kumar and Crane are ready to work.
"It is going great," Crane said. "He has been really good, and we had a few call outs in the past three weeks since we have been on patrol."
Kumar is trained in narcotics tracking, building searches and article searches. Crane said he also knows basic obedience and hand signals.
"If you were to throw a set of keys out into the field and send Kumar out into the area he would be able to find those keys," he said. "Anything with human odor he picks up."
Kumar completed his training in Pennsylvania, and has been training with Crane throughout Massachusetts. Crane said it's not so much training the dog, but training he himself.
"The dog himself is already trained, and it was basically training me with the dog," Crane said.
Kumar is originally from the Netherlands so many of his commands are in Dutch.
"His language is in Dutch, and it is a lot easier for them to teach me commands in Dutch than it is to teach him a whole new language," Crane aid.
The two are now a team and Kumar never leaves Crane's side.
"We are together 24/7, and he comes to work with me every day," Crane said. "His time at home is his time to be a dog; he gets to play, and I have another dog that he plays with."
Crane explained that Kumar has to sleep outside in a kennel so he does not get acclimated to indoor living.
"Kumar has to work all the time so if it is 100 degrees out you don’t want him used to air conditioning because when he goes out to do a mile-long track he's not going to be able to do it," he said. "He lives in a nice kennel we have built for him; it is a mansion for dogs."
Crane said Kumar only bites if he tells him to or if he or another police officer is attacked.
The canine's most "sacred" object is his toy made out of a fire hose with cushion in it, said Crane, who added the dog does everything for the toy.
"His ultimate goal is to be rewarded with his toy, and everything he does is for this toy," he said. "His life revolves around this toy, and he thinks about it 24/7."
Kumar has recently been fitted for his own doggy-sized bulletproof vest donated by Vested Interest, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to outfit police dogs with bullet and stab proof vests.
Crane said Kumar will be in service for eight to 10 years and after that will enjoy retirement.