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Wayne PD welcomes four paws to the force

Officer Ryan Caprathe’s partner K-9 Tanner joined the Wayne Police Department as a canine in training in September.

By Sarah Shurge – The Wayne Police Department is excited to announce the newest member of the department, K-9 Tanner.
K-9 Tanner is a German Shepard and was born May 5th, 2022, in Germany, however, he knows English commands. K-9 Tanner is Officer Ryan Caprathe’s partner and joined the Wayne Police Department as a canine in training in September 2023.
Officer Caprathe joined the Wayne PD in 2020.
“I always wanted to be a police officer since I was younger,” said Officer Caprathe. “I’ve always loved animals, especially dogs, and working with dogs on the job. Whenever we were able to have a canine tracker, I always stepped up.”
The Wayne PD has had several canines in the history of the department and always had a goal to reinstitute the canine program, but it had been difficult with staffing.
“A Wayne resident who passed away years ago donated money to the police department to fund/continue the canine program,” said Wayne Police Chief Ryan Strong. “I am thrilled to have Tanner join our department and bring the K-9 program back.”
The department underwent interview processes for selecting a handler for K-9 Tanner and Officer Caprathe jumped at the chance.
“This has been something that always interested me and being selected was a dream come true,” said Officer Caprathe. “I got thrown right into it. The dog was already selected, so I picked him up and went to the canine academy the very next day.”
K-9 Tanner and Officer Caprathe completed three months of training (Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., home training Friday and Saturday) that included tracking, evidence searching, narcotic detection, building searches, suspect apprehension, and obedience.
Training will continue every other Wednesday throughout K-9 Tanner’s career.
“I’m very pleased with the dedication Officer Caprathe has shown to the training and the program already,” said Chief Strong. “He was eager to accept the commitment this entails. Canines have a 7-8 year career, which is an enormous commitment.”
K-9 Tanner lives with Officer Caprathe and gets along just fine with Officer Caprathe’s other dog Stella, an Australian Shepherd/Blue Heeler mix.
“Tanner is a very mild-mannered dog. He listens to commands well and is eager to go to work. He is very approachable and always running up to people to get pets,” said Officer Caprathe.
K-9 Tanner has already begun to meet members of the community.

“Whenever someone sees him, they light up and want to meet him,” said Officer Caprathe. “I really enjoy situations where I can introduce Tanner to people. Just having more positive interactions with people. Building more community relationships.”
The canine program has so many benefits not only for the police department, but the community as well. “The canine program is so important,” said Chief Strong. “It’s good for the officers and the community, good for morale of the department, and a great public relations tool.”
Welcome K-9 Tanner to the Wayne Police Department!
“Tanner is excited to meet people,” said Officer Caprathe.

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