Officer Kicsi is ready to go at a moments notice when called to go on campus visits. He’s not concerned about a paycheck or vacation time. All he cares about is the company of his handler and the toy that he receives for a job well done.
Kicsi is the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District’s highly trained K-9 dog.
For Kicsi, searching for drugs is playtime. He does what is asked of him, he gets rewards, and that makes him happy.
The two-year-old Belgian Malinois and Drug Prevention Officer Ramiro Martinez conduct campus visits each school day to help keep HCISD campuses drug free. At the end of the day, the duo head home together to get ready for another day.
“This type of relationship goes beyond the pet and master relationship,” says Martinez. “Before long the dog becomes like a family member. It’s a special bond that a K-9 handler has with his service partner.”
The bond between the two is essential to the work that needs to be accomplished. The more Kicsi wants to please his handler the more he is willing to work.
With his background in law enforcement and 12 years of experience with the Malinois breed, Martinez looks for different characteristics in his selection of K-9 dogs. In Kicsi, he found the perfect candidate for the school district.
“I take into account the dog’s search patterns, motivation, how they react, and their level of focus. I’m using my skills and experience from my time with the Harlingen Police Department K-9 Unit to accomplish the mission here at HCISD. As soon as I put Kicsi to work, he doesn’t want to stop. He just wants to keep searching. So I like this guy.”
As with all his past K-9 partners, Martinez is the one who deals with Kicsi. He says that Kicsi is not meant to be a pet. He plays and exercises with him, but he’s in control of his environment. Kicsi is a working dog, and his job is to accomplish a mission.
Martinez is thankful to serve the community once more and even happier to be back in his old K-9 truck.
“This is my dream job,” says Martinez “Harlingen has been my home since I started the police department here, and I am grateful for the privilege to serve the Harlingen community again. I served the community of Harlingen for 20 years and I’m still here.”
During Red Ribbon Week, Martinez and Kicsi are making it a priority to visit campuses and speak with the students about the importance of being drug-free.