Police department welcomes newest K-9 officer
LIMERICK » Limerick’s newest police officer was welcomed publicly this week and he’s eager to embark on the next chapter of his career.
Rambo is a 2½-year-old Belgian Malinois that recently became the newest K-9 officer of the Limerick Police Department. Rambo was born in Germany and moved to the United States when he was a little over a year old.
“He spent some time with the FBI team but was a little hesitant about jumping out of helicopters so we were fortunate enough to get him and he’s been great ever since,” said Rambo’s handler, Officer Chris Wienczek.
He and Wienczek spent eight weeks training together at the Progressive K9 Training Academy in Allentown where Rambo learned to detect narcotics and Wienczek learned how to read Rambo’s body language.
“We trained him in narcotics detection so he’s trained to detect marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and heroin,” explained Wienczek. “Training with him started out simple. It was just a plain towel throw with the dog and then it progressed into scent detection where we included the narcotic scent in the towels so he that he got used to what to look for. Learning how to read his body language and when he was on scent and when he’s not is what I had to learn. I had to learn what his signs were.”
Limerick Police were able to bring Rambo onto the team with some financial help from longtime Limerick resident Speck Landis, who estimated his donation at around $30,000.
“It’s very important. I’ve been in the township since the 50s and I was in the restaurant business in Limerick for many many years and I did very well and dogs were my first priority,” said Landis. “I had always had dogs ... I just knew they only had one dog and I thought they needed another one so I donated a few dollars for the dog.”
“If it wasn’t for him, a lot of the funding, we don’t know where
we would have gotten it because he has been very generous in supporting our K-9 unit,” said Lt. Robert Matalavage.
Landis’ donation helped pay for the purchase of the dog, the training and some of the equipment Rambo will need. The department is also in the process of getting a bulletproof vest for Rambo as he continues his work on the force.
In addition to Wienczek, Rambo is part of the K-9 unit consisting of Officer Kevin McGuigan and his K-9 partner Flynn, who is trained in patrol and explosives detection. The pair have been working together since 2011.
Rambo has been working with Limerick Police since the beginning of June and although he has yet to make his first capture, the department is excited to add another member to its K-9 unit.
“When their dogs make a capture it’s like watching your son in a little league game hit a home run,” said Matalavage. “You’re proud as hell.”
Officer Chris Wienczek with K-9 partner Rambo (left), Speck Landis (center) and Officer Kevin McGuigan with K-9 partner Flynn stand together outside the Limerick Township Police Department. Photo by Marian Dennis
Officer Christopher Wienczek stands with new K-9 partner, Rambo. Rambo is trained in narcotics detection and patrol.