Klamath County Sheriff’s Office gets new canine officer

Klamath Falls, Ore. – The newest member of the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office is from Germany, and is 2 1/2 years old.

‘Chief’ is Klamath County’s newest patrol dog.

“He is used to protect officers in potentially deadly situations.”  Notes Deputy Tom Hoy, Chief’s handler.  “He is used to apprehend fleeing suspects, maybe hiding suspects.”

Hoy adds that Chief has been with the Sheriff’s office for about a week.  “The biggest focus on my training has just been basically when to deploy him, when not to – how to keep him safe, how to keep the public safe.”

Sheriff Chris Kaber says it took about a year of fundraisers and citizen donations to get Chief.  “This particular dog cost $21,500, but that came with the trainer coming out from the east coast to train with our officer for more than 2 weeks.”

Deputy Hoy says that since he was a little kid, he’s been fascinated with working dogs.  “At a past agency, I had a bloodhound police dog – not a patrol dog as far as apprehending suspects, but more of just a tracking dog.”

Sheriff Kaber says the office is about a third of the way to getting a second dog.  “It’s a force multiplier, for sure.”

Chief’s name was given to reflect contributions made to the canine program by local Vietnam veteran Paul Hanson.

Hanson’s dog during his time of military service was also named ‘Chief’.

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.

He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.

“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.

When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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