The City of Johnston, in partnership with the Johnston Police Officers Association (JPOA) and several community partners, is pleased to announce the implementation of the police department’s first-ever police canine team.
In the spring of 2022, the Johnston City Council authorized the police department to implement a police canine program as an additional resource to better serve the growing public safety service needs in Johnston. The Johnston Police Officers Association, in partnership with multiple community sponsors, accepted a fundraising challenge to cover all start-up costs associated with the program (approximately $100,000, which included the purchase of the animal, training for both the animal and handler, acquisition of necessary program and animal housing equipment, and a dedicated patrol vehicle with emergency equipment). Proudly, in October 2023, a dual-purpose canine team was implemented to serve the city.
“Buck,” a Belgian Malinois (mal-an-wha), is certified in traditional patrol dog skillsets such as apprehension, evidence recovery, building searches, article searches, and tracking lost or runaway persons. Additionally, Buck will advance the community caretaking and homeland security mission of the police department as a certified explosives detection and terrorism pre-emption service animal. Buck’s handler, Officer Dylan Petermeier, joined the Johnston Police Department in 2019 and has served as a patrol officer, bike patrol officer, field training officer, firearms instructor and QRT member. His service record also includes six years with the United States Air Force Security Forces.
Year after year, the City of Johnston is recognized as one of the safest cities in Iowa and for its continual rapid growth. Johnston is known as a hub for outdoor recreation and is quickly adding public and private amenities that will draw much larger crowds and greater public interest to the region. We are also home to unique security challenges such as protecting the Iowa Army National Guard and the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy at Camp Dodge, Joint Forces Headquarters, the State’s Emergency Operations Center, as well as various corporate and non-profit business centers and agricultural research centers.
The Johnston Police Department acknowledges the following sponsors for their generous support and unwavering commitment:
- Corteva Agriscience
- Polk County
- Spire Property Management
- AKC Reunite
- Karl Emergency Vehicles
- Westfield Veterinary Hospital
- Rasmussen Group
- Manatt's Concrete
- Capital Orthopedics & Sport
- Cushman & Wakefield Iowa
- Erickson Balmer Construction
- Rotary Club of Johnston
- Yoder Design
Their invaluable contributions have made a significant impact, enabling the success of our community initiatives and programs. The Johnston Police Department deeply appreciates their unwavering support in helping to create a safer and more cohesive community for all.
To learn more about the K9 program, visit www.cityofjohnston.com/JPDK9. Also, follow Buck’s Instagram @JPDK9.