FLINT TWP. — K9 Jax and his handler, Officer Barry Wascher, visited with Carman-Ainsworth High School marketing students on Monday, June 11 to demonstrate skills a police dog must possess on duty.
C-A teacher and Flint Township Trustee Tom Klee invited Jax and Officer Wascher to his classroom not only as a learning experience but also to thank the students. The high school students helped to assemble treat bags for K9s currently serving in Genesee County as part of “Oliver’s Play it Forward,” an initiative started by Township Clerk Kathy Funk to honor K9s for their hard work and dedication. Treat bags include tennis balls, durable toys and treats.
“Having Jax in the classroom was a great opportunity for the kids of Carman-Ainsworth to view the career opportunities as a first responder that are non-traditional, like being a K9 officer at a local police department,” said Klee. “Or they can choose to serve as a military police officer, with the TSA, Department of Natural Resources, or other organizations that need first responders.”
Jax and Officer Wascher have been partners since May 2017. The 2-year-old German Shepherd, bred and raised in the Czech Republic until his arrival in the United States, is trained in drug detection and tracking.
Anyone interested in donating new, unopened tennis balls to Oliver’s Play it Forward, can drop them off at Flint Township Administration Building, 1490 S. Dye Road, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Funk will see to it that the balls are distributed evenly throughout the county.
The Flint Township Police department has operated a canine program since 1999 and currently has two dogs in service. A total of three dogs have served over the years.