By MARGIE NETZEL - firstname.lastname@example.org
For the Star Beacon
It happened so fast.
Village Police Chief Tim Bruckman’s canine partner, Pacho seemed to have the flu. Pacho the German Shepherd was wheezing a bit, but otherwise fine, and Bruckman decided to take the dog for a quick check up with the veterinarian.
A day later, Pacho died of terminal cancer.
“It was one of the hardest things to go through,” Bruckman said. “I spent 20 hours a day with Pacho – he went to work with me, he came home with me, he was a part of our family. He was with me all the time.”
Pacho’s sudden death leaves Bruckman without a canine officer for the first time in 15 years. The department is now raising funds to purchase, train and certify another police dog. The total cost will be $10,000, and the department needs another $5,000, Bruckman said.
The Geneva Eagles Aerie recently donated $1,500 toward the cost.
“The fees cover the breeding, training and certification for the dog,” he said. “The new dog will spend six to eight weeks with a master trainer.”
Continuing the GOTL tradition, Bruckman said he will purchase another German Shepherd for the department.
“I like the temperament of the German Shepherds,” he said. “Departments use all sorts of breeds for canine officers, but I think the German Shepherds fit well with my personality.”
Bruckman said he has always been interested in training and using canine officers.
“It was something I always wanted to do,” he said. “This dog will be my third dog following (canine officers) Max and Pacho. A canine officer is invaluable to our department. For the cost of it, you can’t get a better partner.”
Donations toward the GOTL Canine Officer Fund can be made at the Geneva-on-the-Lake Safety Service Center or send to the Geneva-on-the-Lake Police Department, 4929 S. Warner Dr., Geneva Ohio 44041.