K-9 Unit

Horseheads PD Online
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Department K-9 Unit


The Horseheads Police Department is currently in search of a new K-9 unit as Officer Hetzler has moved on to the Rochester NY Police Department. Officer Jamie Burgess has been selected as the new K-9 Handler for the department. More information on the new K-9 will be posted as it becomes available.

      The Horseheads Police instituted its first official K-9 unit in 1994 after the concept was initiated Officer Kieran Hetzler. Officer Hetzler is the department K-9 officer and handles eight year old male German shepherd “Aslan von der Dreikonigengruft,” known in the department as “Assan.” Both K-9 and handler are certified by New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services in basic police patrol functions, evidence recovery, scent detection/tracking and narcotic/drug detection. Assan is a German import and trains with Officer Hetzler on a weekly basis. Officer Hetzler and Assan have assisted numerous local police agencies with police enforcement and investigations. They also are popular and featured at civic organizations and schools with police K-9 demonstrations.      In 1998, Officer Hetzler and Assan logged fifteen demonstrations/presentations and nine incidents. This number is down “60% from 1997 primarily due to the Elmira Police Department training their own K-9 units”. The highlight criminal catch for Assan was a felony arrest that occurred in December. Assan tracked and apprehended a parolee that had stolen a car and been stopped by Horseheads Police for vehicle and traffic violations. The subject absconded, crashed and fled on foot into a thick brush area where Assan located and captured him.

      Officer Hetzler and Assan attended the Yates County Sheriff’s seminar in May of 1998 and passed all New York State certification courses.