WARREN TOWNSHIP - Maja, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois, is the newest member of the Warren Township Police Department.
Patrolman Jason Lamtman, who was hired by the department two years ago, will be overseeing Maja, whom he worked with when he was a member of the Windham Police Department.
Police Chief Don Bishop said this is the first K-9 unit for the department.
"When we hired him (Jason Lamtman), he already has the dog. We have been discussing the idea of having a K-9 unit for about a year. We decided with all the heroin and drugs going on in the area, we decided to move on having the dog be a part of our department," Bishop said.
Maja is trained to look for drugs and also tracking for someone who may be a fugitive.
"When we have called other departments that have K-9 units for help, they were either not working that day or not available so now we will have our own resource," Bishop said.
Bishop said with the ongoing drug concern, the dog's skills will be an asset to the department and others in the county who may need to use her.
Warren Township trustees adopted guidelines and policies for the dog.
Bishop said the Butler County Sheriff Department donated a special kennel for the back seat of Lamtman's police cruiser specifically for Maja. It was installed this past weekend by Emerine Towing.
Maja will also be involved with school and community programs. Bishop said he plans to make the dog available for use if other police departments request assistance from a K-9 unit.
"The officer in charge will make the determination depending on the situation," Bishop said.
"It is advantageous that the more experience the dog gets, the better it will be," Bishop said.
Lamtman said Maja was used from 2006 to 2012 in Windham where she searched for drugs. He said the dog became certified in 2007.
Lamtman said "Maja has a lot of experience with mainly drugs and narcotics and tracking suspects who flee into wooded areas."