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Kings Island fans are quickly falling in love with the area’s newest K9 police officer. Meet Orion, the two-year old, long-haired German Shepherd and newest K9 officer with the City of Mason’s police department.
Named after Kings Island’s new roller coaster of the same name, K9 Orion officially joined the local police force last November. She serves with three other canine officers, Banshee (another Kings Island namesake), Brus and Zane.
Alongside School Resource Officer and 13-year veteran Officer Karli Dyer, Orion spends most of her time walking the halls of Mason schools, visiting elementary classrooms and being a community ambassador – all as part of the police department’s Campus Safety division.
“Students are so excited when they get to meet her,” Dyer said as we walked through the streets of Kings Island an early morning in May. “They love to tell me stories about their own dogs and that her long hair makes her look like a big teddy bear.”
Dyer describes Orion as, “super smart with her brain always working.” Just what you’re looking for in a police dog. “She even surprises me sometimes,” she said.
It was important for the Mason Police Department to find just the right dog to serve alongside Dyer, so Orion’s background of being a service dog prior to becoming a police dog made her the perfect fit.
“There are thousands of students in Mason’s schools, and we needed to find a dog that was social and could do her job while being around lots of kids,” Dyer said, and then added, “Plus, she gets lots of belly rubs. I can tell she likes that.”
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