August 10, 2020  |  03:13 pm

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s K9 Division has welcomed a new member.

K9 Axel a 6-month-old Belgian Malinois, and once trained he will serve as a duel-purpose canine.

K9 Axel was purchased by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office earlier this year from a local breeder at six weeks old.  Sergeant Ron Olivier, a certified canine trainer and a veteran with the STPSO K9 Division, immediately started his training. So far, K9 Axel has begun training on tracking and building searches and evidence recovery.

“He is learning very quickly,” Sergeant Olivier said. “He is a good dog. He is a smart dog.”

He is currently being trained on narcotics detection and will begin handler protection training when he is older. K9 Axel has at least six more months of training until he is ready to be on the field.

Once K9 Axel’s training is completed, he will replace K9 Thor, who will be retiring due to age.

“K9s play a vital role in our agency,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “I am proud to have Sergeant Olivier, a certified K9 trainer, on staff to work with K9 Axel and all of K9 deputies.”