The Portage County Sheriff's Offices K-9 Program began in 1991, with its first handler Sgt. John Keener and K-9 Ingo. Ingo was a German Shepherd from Sun Dog Kennels, located in Cross Plains, WI. The program was then funded through a donation by the Portage County Banker's Association. The donation was approximately $3000.00, which covered the cost of Ingo. Sgt. Keener worked Ingo until 1998, at which time Ingo was retired. Since that time, the Sheriff's Office has had three other working dogs, all of which were Belgian Malinois.
The current handler is Deputy Daniel Wachowiak. Deputy Wachowiak has been working for the Sheriff's Office since February 2000, and was appointed as K-9 handler in January 2010. The Sheriff's Office selected a fourth Belgian Malinois from Vohne Liche Kennels, which is located in Denver, Indiana. Deputy Wachowiak attended Vohne Liche Kennels' five week handlers course in early 2010 with his new four year old K-9 partner, Baco. Vohne Liche Kennels has a well known reputation for training well socialized police and military dogs.
Baco is a dual purpose patrol / narcotics detection dog. He was born in Sint-Oedenrode, Netherlands in 2006, where training began as a puppy. His commands are spoken in Dutch, and he is very obedient and loyal to his handler. He can track suspects or lost persons, protect his handler, conduct building, area, and small article searches, as well as make apprehensions and perform narcotics detection. Baco is able to detect the odors of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, as well as their derivatives.
Baco lives with Deputy Wachowiak at his residence. Deputy Wachowiak is responsible for everyday care for Baco, as well as training to keep proficient with handler skills. It is estimated that Baco will work with the Office for approximately five to six years, at which time the Office will seek a new K-9 handler and dog. The vast majority of funding for the K-9 program is done through donations. Any donation for the K-9 program is graciously accepted. To donate, please click the Donate button below, or send donations addressed to: Portage County K-9, Attn: Deputy Wachowiak 1500 Strongs Avenue, Stevens Point, WI 54481.