Ritter Communications’ partnership with the Jonesboro Police Department has gone to the dogs – and that’s a very good thing. This spring, Ritter purchased a Belgian Malinois named Rico from Blue Streak Kennels and donated the dog to the JPD’s K9 unit.
On Tuesday, JPD Officer Dustin Smith and his canine partner visited Ritter’s Jonesboro office to thank the company for its contribution and show off the newest member of the force. Rico is 18 months old and is fully certified on both state and national levels in narcotic detection and patrol work. He assists officers in locating drugs as well as tracking and apprehending suspects. He also provides protection for his handler as the officer enters dangerous situations.
“These dogs are great tools for our department,” said Smith. “If it wasn’t for you all, we wouldn’t be here today.”
To demonstrate the dog’s abilities, Blue Streak Kennels Owner and K9 trainer Blake Bristow hid a bag of narcotics in the Ritter lobby and Ritter employees observed as Rico quickly sniffed out the drugs. Later, Bristow dressed himself in padded “bite gear” and following a simple command from Smith, Rico displayed his apprehension capability by latching on to Bristow’s arm.
With eight dogs in their department, the JPD boasts the state’s largest K9 unit. It costs approximately $10,000 to purchase and train the dogs for police activity, but with the amount of drugs and cash confiscated with the dogs, it takes them just one month to pay for themselves.
“We at the Jonesboro Police Department are proud to have as a community partner such a wonderful business with a group of great people looking to make Jonesboro a better place,” the JPD said in a statement on their Facebook page. “Thank you, Ritter Communications for purchasing and providing a tremendous asset to the Jonesboro Police Department.”
About the Jonesboro Police Department:
The city of Jonesboro Police Department shall strive to ensure that all of our citizens are served in a professional, ethical and equitable manner that respects individuals, protects our democratic ideals and system of government, pursues greater accountability of police, greater public share in decision making and greater concern for civil rights and liberties.
About Ritter Communications:
Ritter Communications, founded in Marked Tree, Arkansas and headquartered in Jonesboro, began providing local phone service in 1906. Today, Ritter serves 59 communities and more than 45,000 customers in northeast and north central Arkansas, southeast Missouri and west Tennessee with advanced voice and data services, cable TV and high speed Internet typically found only in major metropolitan areas. Ritter invests heavily in the communities it serves by deploying proven, best in class infrastructure and technology while coupling it with a world class customer focused experience. To stay connected visit facebook.com/rittercommunications.