Ventnor Police Officer Jamie Pirchio is on medical leave after being attacked by her canine partner, Niko. She suffered injuries to her legs, arms, and hands and was treated immediately, having same-day surgery.
So what does this mean for the K9 cop? Chief of Police Michael Miller assured residents that the canine will not return to the force.
“That dog’s service to the agency will not continue, and we will get a replacement,” Miller stated.
The incident was reported to have occurred while officer Pirchio was feeding her dog. It’s believed that the dog became distracted and then attacked her. The chief links the attack to unforeseen aggression.
“I have to attribute the incident to a psychological problem with the dog. It appears that the officer did everything correctly,” Miller added.
Officer Pirchio’s neighbor, retired police officer Bob Webb, called 9-1-1 and helped facilitate first aid.
“The dog just grabbed her and it was an unusual situation,” Webb recalled.
Former police chief, Tom Conroy, is the number one canine officer in the country. He went over how he helps officers work with their dogs and why proper training of not only the dog, but the officer is so important.
“The most important thing is choosing the right person to handle the dog and choosing the right dog. The dog has to be social, and has to have the drive to make it through training,” Conroy said.
Niko was the first canine on the Ventor police force. Since the town of Ventor is very close to Atlantic City, the canine is a big help taking down the drug epidemic in the area. The attack of the police dog was a rare occurrence, and Conroy noted that when the dog is trained properly, it is man’s best friend.
We wish Officer Pirchio a speedy recovery.