K-9 Division




In Honor of



In Honor of

In Service from
July 4th 1994 to May 18th 2006
Died May 18th 2006
                                                                In Service from
1999 to Feb 23rd 2006
Died Feb 26th 2006


Currently the Schererville Police Department has two K9s. “Baron,” handled by Officer Matthew Djukic, and “Clark,” handled by Officer Anthony Buonadonna.

Please support your local K9 programs. Police K9s are highly trained animals that are here to serve the community and their needs are constantly changing.

In 1973, the Schererville Police Department introduced its first Canine Unit to the community. The population consisted of 6,000 residents. Several canines were used and in 1983 the original canine program was retired.

In 1994, Officer Larry Mysliwiec, a five-year police veteran, was instrumental in the research and development of a new Canine Unit. By then, the population had increased to approximately 18,000 residents.

On July 1, 1994, Officer Mysliwiec was assigned his new canine partner Boss, a 1 ½ year old German Shepherd that the Landheim Training Center purchased in the Czech Republic. Officer Mysliwiec then underwent a rigorous seven-week course with Boss at the training center located in Dyer, Indiana. During the training, Officer Mysliwiec and Boss learned tracking, criminal apprehension, building and area searches, handler protection, and narcotic detection. Boss was trained to detect several different narcotics.

In May 1996, Officer Mysliwiec was promoted to the rank of Corporal and continued with the canine program, becoming its Unit Supervisor.

In 1999, the Schererville Police Department added a third canine unit to the program. Officer Vince Bertossi, a three-year police veteran, was assigned to the unit. His partner, a two-year old German Shepherd named Karr, was purchased from Holland by the Landheim Training Center. This team underwent a six-week training program at the training center.

Canine handlers must pass a vigorous testing procedure and are certified through the North American Police Work Dog Association at the end of the six-week training program. Each Canine Unit officer and canine partner continues training on a daily basis. With Schererville’s rapid growth, the Canine Units are a tremendous asset to the Schererville Police Department. With the addition of the third canine, each officer and his partner have been assigned to a shift. This allows every officer on the department to have a canine, available at any given time of the day.

A local businessman, Jim Hawk of Hawk Development, donated the cost of each canine. Each canine and the required training costs $7,500.00. The total amount donated to the Canine Unit by Jim Hawk and Hawk Development has been $22,500.00 since 1994.

Due to Jim Hawk’s generous monetary donation, Ofc. Tieri’s canine was renamed Hawk when he started his training class in 1997.

In November 2000, another local business, North West Indiana Warehouse and Transport, donated over $3,000.00 to the Canine Unit for bullet and stab resistant vests for each canine.

Since that time, Mr. & Mrs. Ames have donated several thousand dollars to the K-9 program to cover medical treatments and other costs. We thank them for their continued generosity. On May 18th 2006, both Greg and Nanette Ames were presented with a plaque acknowledging their support of the K-9 program.

In 2006, both Karr and Boss passed away. Karr passed away after receiving treatment for a cancerous tumor on February 26th, and Boss passed away on May 18th from apparent natural causes.

Both K-9s were honored at the May 20th Police Officer Memorial service with Robert Fleming of Landheim Training Center being the guest speaker. Mr. Fleming, also a police officer with the Steger Illinois PD, trained both Karr & Boss.

Although Police K9s can be aggressive if necessary, they are generally very personable and well-mannered animals. One should never approach a Police K9, or any dog for that matter, without first asking the handler if it is okay to do so. Certain actions by others can be interpreted by the K9 as aggressive and may cause the dog to go into defense and/or handler protection mode if the handler is unaware of your intentions.

Sgt. Larry Mysliwiec supervises the K-9 program.

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