For the Weekly Record Herald
WEST MILTON — Superheros come in all types, including the furry kind.
Tipp City K9 Gitta and her handler Sergeant Greg Adkins are making a special visit to the Milton-Union Public Library as part of its hero-themed Summer Reading Program. The police team will be at the library from 2-3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30. Not only will families get to meet the crime-fighting German Shepherd, but they can also watch her in action as she finds “contraband” in the library.
Gitta is 9-years-old and was born in the Tiekerhook Kennels in the Netherlands. The animal was given Schutzhund training prior to being brought to the United States, then received more training with Police Dog Services in Germantown, Ohio, before finally teaming up with Adkins.
Adkins met Gitta when she was 2-years-old in the summer of 2008. After more than 380 hours of training in narcotics detection, tracking, article detection, and patrol work, Gitta and Adkins became certified through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Council and went on the road full time together. The pair must maintain a minimum of 16 hours of maintenance training a month. Gitta is also certified by the United States Police Canine Association, North American Working Dog Association, and National Association of Professional Canine Handlers.
Gitta has an apprehension rate of 43 percent on track with a national average of 30 percent. The street value of the narcotics she’s helped get off the street amounts to almost $4 million. Her nose and training have been recognized and honored by the FBI, United States Marshall Service, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, and Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Gitta goes to work with Adkins each day and lives at home with Adkins’s family. His police cruiser has a special insert made for the dog with heat alarms for her safety and safety devices in place to protect Gitta from a prisoner for transport or in event of an accident.
The estimated cost for the canine officer with equipment, handler training, and additional expenses is around $21,000. Funds to purchase Gitta were raised through Tipp Monroe Community Services and “Friends of Tipp City Police K9 Unit” following the death and replacement of previous K9 “Prints.” At the time of Prints passing, the city could not afford to replace the K9 Program and private funding allowed this to happen.
For more information about this or other summer reading programs, call 937-698-5515 or visit www.mupubliclibrary.org. Milton-Union Public Library is located at 560 S. Main St., West Milton and is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.