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K-9 officer fights crime, unites the community

FORTUNA- He barks and plays like any other dog. But Nordy has a day job. He is a K-9 officer with the Fortuna Police Department.

“He's trained in area searches, tracking, suspect apprehension,” said Maxwell Soeth police officer and K-9 handler with the Fortuna Police Department.

Nordy joined the force in April after the department's old K-9 officer Zorro retired.

”His career had ended. He turned 10 years old which is fairly old for a working dog and I think he put in about eight years on the street,” Soeth said.

But finding the right K-9 to fill Zorro’s place was a process, one that sent the department’s dog trainer overseas to the Czech Republic and Nordy's hometown.

”We got to pick him out, out of the five dogs and he had the best temperament and the best workability for our department and our needs,” Soeth said.

But when he's not apprehending criminals or leading a search party, he's spending time with the local kids.

”He's gone to a lot of summer events with children, does a lot of meet and greets with different classes and done some demonstrations before class got out for summer time break,” Soeth said. “K-9s, they're big for us because the bridge the gap between law enforcement and children kids love him. He fortunately loves kids.

And helping the community is his main goal, after all- the community helped get him a job.

”Nordy and our K-9 program at the Fortuna police department is strictly donation based. A couple years ago the city of Fortuna was unable to fund it due to budget cuts along with some other programs and so if not for generous community members, we wouldn't have a dog on our force,” Soeth said.

At just 15 months old, Nordy plans to keep helping his new home for many years to come.