Atz and handler graduate and are ready to work


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — Greenville City Council received a special visit from a recent graduate and the city’s newest police officer on Tuesday, April 4 at the regular meeting of Greenville City Council. Atz (pronounced Ots) and his handler Officer Aaron Hall were there for an official welcome to the city. The newest officer, Atz, is the city’s first drug and tracking dog. The male, German Wired Haired Pointer will assist the department in not only rooting out drugs in the city but can also help find individuals that may be lost or missing.

While still very much a puppy at 14-months-old, Atz is as loveable as he is smart. He captured the attention of everyone in the council chambers. The friendly officer made a point of visiting everyone and seemed to enjoy the attention and petting he was receiving.

Safety Service Director Ryan Delk shared, “The mayor and I, Mr. Rieman and Lt. Flanery were able to go last week and attend the graduation of Atz and Officer Hall.” He explained the Southwest Ohio K-9 Unit did the certification and graduation. He said it was a large group of individuals and their canines. “We’re excited Officer Hall has a tight group of people to train with and bounce ideas off of and really excited to get this program off the ground.” Delk also thanked Hall’s wife and two daughters for allowing their family to accept Atz. “It’s a big ask,” he said.

Officer Hall said, “I want to thank you guys for the opportunity to have him. I know it’s been an effort between everyone. I know a lot of people have donated or offered donations so far. That is much appreciated.” He explained some of the talents Atz brings to the department. In addition to being a drug dog, he can also track humans or the scent of humans to find evidence or individuals. Hall said he could drop his keys in a field and Atz would be able to track the scent and give a final indication of where they are. “It’s really cool seeing it work. Obviously, it’s a work in progress for everything. He’s still a pup and I’m still a pup of a dog handler,” he said.

Chief Eric Roberts said, “I want to thank you for being allowed to have this. It’s something the department has wanted for a long time. We definitely have a problem, and we definitely plan on utilizing this young man, both of them. We chose Aaron for a reason, looking forward to getting him out there.” Pointing to Atz, the Chief said, “I’m not supposed to have a favorite officer, but as you can see, I kind of do now. He jokingly added, “He’s the only one that wags his tail every time I see him.”

Delk also gave an update on Ohio Street and the possibility of temporarily closing the intersection of Ohio and Martin Streets. “There is a very slim chance, but there is a chance that we might not have to close the intersection,” he said. They will be meeting soon to see if there is a way they can move things around to avoid closing the intersection. The city is about six weeks away from that occurring. They are currently waiting on the water boring equipment to arrive. The water boring and tie-ins are what will cause the intersection to be closed. Brumbaugh Construction was informed the city needs to be informed at least three weeks prior if the intersection will be closed. One week will be to prepare the signs and two weeks for the signs to be erected to inform motorists of what is coming.

According to Delk, the project is continuing to move forward and remains on schedule.

In other business, council:

* Approved a resolution authorizing the city to begin Phase One of the Sidewalk Maintenance Program in 2023. The city will establish the part of the cost of improvements that will be paid for by the city and the cost paid by special assessment. The owners of all lots and lands with needed sidewalk repairs shall repair the sidewalks in accordance with specifications by Aug. 31, 2023.

* Approved a resolution authorizing participation in the annual ODOT road salt bid for 2023. Delk noted the city will purchase approximately 800 tons. Because of a mild winter, the city did not use the entire 1,200 tons that is used on average.

The next regular meeting of Greenville City Council will be April 18, 7:30 p.m., Council Chambers, Municipal Building.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

No posts to display