The Hillsborough Police Office recently added a new officer to the team.
K9 Officer Jet began patrolling with the department in December. The energetic German shepherd dog is ready to track people, apprehend suspects, recover discarded and hidden objects like guns, detect narcotics and protect her handler.
Born in the Czech Republic, 2-year-old Jet trained in Lee County before coming to Hillsborough.
Her handler, Police Officer 1st Class Michael Toellen, said he was looking for an outstanding tracker. The trainers in Lee County called when they had the right dog for the Town of Hillsborough.
“We went to look at her, and she was fantastic,” Toellen said.
He and Senior Cpl. Scott Foster, who is the handler of K9 Officer Vadar, performed several tests with Jet at the training facility to be sure she was the right dog. Jet passed with flying colors, showing confidence while working in challenging circumstances.
Some of those tests involved scurrying across slick floors, reaching into the back of confined spaces, and moving from short grass to tall grass with ease, which some dogs hesitate to do.
Last year, the Durham Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club provided an $11,000 grant to the Hillsborough Police Department to help defray some of the cost of purchasing a new police dog after K9 Officer Viper retired.
Elementary students in Hillsborough voted on Jet’s name in the fall.
“She is an outstanding tracker,” Toellen said. “She’s going to be a rock star.”
A version of this article originally ran in the Town of Hillsborough