Rex, a 19-month-old from Germany, starts his tenure as a Twin Lakes police officer Wednesday (Jason Arndt/The Report).

New Twin Lakes officer completes training

By Jason Arndt

Twin Lakes’ newest police officer started his first day Wednesday, when K9 Rex started patrolling the village with officer Joe Patla, who expressed gratitude to the community for their continuous support.

“I can not thank the community enough,” he said.

Through community donations, including one to finance a used squad car from Spring Grove, Ill., the village was able to receive Rex.

With Rex’s nose, the police department hopes to reduce illegal drugs coming into the community, which has experienced a rise in heroin overdoses and other drug activity.

Rex, however, could help officers in community outreach efforts.

“In the future, we want to get him into the schools,” said Police Chief Adam Grosz.

About Rex

Officer Joe Patla of the Twin Lakes Police Department introduces his partner, K9 Rex, outside the police station Wednesday (Jason Arndt/The Report).

Rex is a 19-month-old from Germany, said Patla, who added the dog understands German cues.

After Rex arrived to the United States, he reported for training alongside Patla at Steinig Tal Kennels in Campbellsports, Wis. on Sept. 25.

Steinig Tal Kennels has been in the training business for 38 years, Patla said.

Patla, who lives with Rex full-time, said the dog has a friendly temperament.

“He is pretty social, but he is still learning,” said Patla.

When Rex is not on duty, according to Patla, the dog spends his time chewing on his favorite Kong ball and bones on the couch at Patla’s home.

Community support
Along with local realtor Mary Brennan, who donated about $17,000 for the police squad, private donations brought in more than $14,000 to help buy Rex and send him to training.

Additionally, Dr. Mary Sue Lux of Westosha Veterinary Hospital plans to help Rex and the police department with health monitoring, which includes vaccines and other basic checks.

“She is actually one of the first community members who came forward,” Patla said.

The used squad car, which came from the Spring Grove Police Department, arrived fully equipped with a cage, heat detection system, automatic door opener for the dog and a camera.


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