If you notice the side of Galesburg Police Officer Lane Mings’ squad car it will read K-9 Unit.
That’s because Mings doesn’t have a traditional partner–his partner is a Belgian Malinois named Ajax and the two of them work together on shift and then head home after shift, where Ajax is a member of the family.
Mings says normally officers get to choose their own K-9 partners, but before Ajax Mings took over for another handler, but he second time around Mings got to pick his partner and he tells WGIL’s Galesburg Live from the moment you get your partner your partnership begins.
“Basically you and the dog both go down to the Illinois State Police Academy for ten weeks and you’re with the dog for ten weeks, you live there for ten weeks with the dog, so that’s all you do is train this dog for ten weeks and you guys bond together and then you know you learn all, everything the dog needs to learn down there.”
Mings says when him and Ajax are on shift it’s a job and Ajax is knows it’s time for work, however, when he gets home Mings says that’s Ajax’s time to just be a dog.
He says between 80 to 85% of the dogs that are used as police dogs are trained to be used for the search of illegal drugs.