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Ronan Police Department swears in two members

RONAN – After pressing his paw into an ink pad, the Ronan Police Department’s canine member signed an Oath of Office on Monday, July 2, during the city council meeting.

Sandor, a Belgian Malinois, whose name means defender of man, promised an allegiance to the Constitution of the State of Montana as a highly trained police dog by putting his paw print on the document. 

He took an oath to “catch bad guys and find drugs” without any mental reservations, except to maybe chase his toy on occasion. His handler, Officer Brandon Smith, helped him take the oath and answer verbal questions during the ceremony. Sandor received a shiny police badge to wear on his collar.

He earned his position with the police department after attending a six-week training program back in Pennsylvania where he learned how to sniff out narcotics, apprehend criminals and search for people. 

Chief Ken Weaver said Sandor started working the streets of Ronan as soon as he finished his training program about three months ago and has been finding narcotics about twice a week on average. 

Sandor works with Officer Smith to respond to situations. Smith points out areas of concern, and Sandor sniffs the location. If he finds something, Sandor signals a hit. Weaver said the dog can find hidden drugs much faster than a human officer. 

“They make a good team,” Weaver said. The chief added that Sandor is a people-friendly dog and a “great asset” to the Ronan community. 

During the meeting, Ronan Police Officer Corey White also swore an oath to uphold the law. He worked with the Ronan department for about a year and a half starting in 2016 before moving on to work with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for a few months. 

“I’m super excited to be back in this area,” White said. He brought more than a dozen friends and family members to the ceremony. Weaver welcomed him back to the Ronan department.

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