April 28, 2016:
After an extensive interview, selection, and training process, the Gravette Police Department would like to welcome three new officers aboard. All three were welcomed to active duty by Circuit Judge Tommy Smith this evening in a swearing-in ceremony at the Gravette Police Department.
Two of the officers, Ofc. Joshua Greer and Ofc. Jeremy Rhodes will be members of the departments “Reserve” or auxiliary component. The Reserve officers are volunteers that donate their time to be trained and ride along with regular officers in order to supplement manpower. These officers donated large amounts of their time to riding along to make sure that this was what they wanted to do. They then attended and graduated the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Part-time academy after attending six weeks of training which was conducted five days a week and totaled 120 hours.
Once commissioned, Ofc. Greer and Ofc Rhodes will work their way through an internal training program where they will progressively be allowed more responsibility up to working special events and eventually being approved to be promoted to paid Part-time positions based on their performance.
The third member of the department, IKKS DU MONTS LERROUX, is a two-and-a-half year old Belgian Malinois canine that was imported from France by Von Klein Stein Working Dog Kennels out of North Little Rock, AR. “Ikks” was selected with the gracious help of Deputy Chris Kelly and other members of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office K9 team and funded through the support of community donations (which were obtained in less than one month). Ikks is trained in narcotics detection, tracking, article search, and personal protection and comes with a one year health and lifetime behavioral training guarantee.
According to Chief Bower, “We did a lot of research because of events that happened in the past. “Von Klein Stein” was the name we heard over-and-over from departments of all sizes with successful canine programs. We met with the owner and head trainer and explained the history of our past program.
We reviewed several dogs. In the end, we all agreed there was no choice. Ikks was by far the most calm, Gravette PD welcomes new officers level-headed, and mature dog we had seen. He can be all business or all play, but he always had a calm, watchful demeanor that set him apart from the rest”.
Ikks will be partnered with Officer Bryan Smith. Ofc. Smith and Ikks just completed their “Handler’s Course” and Von Klein Stein Kennels and will be hitting the streets as soon as their new patrol vehicle is ready.
The Gravette Police Department would like to thank the following members of the community and agencies for their help in purchasing Ikks and the required equipment:
Mr. Jacob Smith
Back Country Taxidermy
Ken and Paulette Austin
John Cowan Drywall
R & R Packaging
Bank of Gravett
John and Janice Lykins
Mr. Kim Hendren and the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District
Walton Family Foundation