He’s really quite striking. Strong, but elegant, Mt. Juliet Police K-9 Officer Majlo is fawn colored, and his black ears and mask accentuate his rich amber eyes.
Right now, those eyes are laser focused on his partner, MJPD Officer Chris Barth. Majlo (pronounced My-Low) just came back from a surprise duty on July 4 around 5:30 p.m., where he sniffed out drug paraphernalia that resulted in a citation. He’s at the police station with extra energy from his latest call and spent a bit of time searching the lockers at the precinct, for good measure. All clear, he begins to settle down next to Barth.
Barth and Majlo, 3, have been partners for about a year. Majlo is a Belgian Malinois from Czechoslovakia. He’s the department’s only K-9 (homophone of ‘canine’) officer.
Right away, trainers from Southern Cost Canine knew Majlo was “especially smart.”
Majlo has something we humans don’t. His nose is 1,000 times more sensitive than ours. He can sniff out narcotics and trace peoples’ scents. His mixed heritage brings in several great personalities for a K-9 officer. The Belgian part is very somber, compared to a pure-bred German Shepherd. He’s a little tougher and easier to train.
Barth said his constant companion (they live together) was hand-picked for this job and U.S. specialists traveled all the way to select dogs for this profession.
“He’s certified nationally,” said Barth.
There’s 240 hours of training involved for Majlo to serve Mt. Juliet in an officer capacity.
Barth said it’s not weird, but natural, to partner with Majlo, with whom he has forged an unbreakable bond. Experts say to deprive a Mal activity and the pleasure of your company is to deprive him of his very reasons for being.
The first step was integrating the spectacular canine into Barth’s career and home life. It took a little time. Because Barth is a single guy, there were no hurdles with introducing him to family at his home.
However, there was one obstacle.
Kane, a 140-pound Great Dane, already had dibs on Barth and the homestead. This officer smiled a big grin when he described the initial interaction upon bringing a ‘sibling’ to the mix.
“Both were very hesitant,” he said. “I’ll admit it was a slow integration process. Mahlo had a new home, and a new handler.”
Majlo was originally partnered with another officer at the force, who moved on.
But, it all worked out and the two canines share their owner gracefully now.
It’s like Majlo has a dual personality, or, perhaps he just knows when he’s on the job and when he’s not.
“At home, he’s just a normal dog,” explained Barth. “When he comes to work, it’s like he’s flipped a switch. He adapts.”
It’s belly rubs and snuggling, off the clock. On the clock, Majlo is up to snuff and recently was integral in a couple major busts and capture. In other words, his “game face was on,” said his partner.
On May 21 of this year, Majlo sniffed out some $192,000 worth of drug money in a narcotics detection, related to meth.
Just last month, on June 18, he and Barth tracked down a subject who ran into the woods after he rolled his car over on Fescue Drive.
“Officer Barth and Majlo are a great team who continue to deliver results that enhance the safety of our community,” said MJPD Chief James Hambrick. “This is just one of many examples where their skills have allowed our officers to quickly apprehend wanted subjects who run and attempt to evade arrest.”
And, of course, there’s danger on the job. It’s a silent bond between the two that will only grow stronger. They both know their roles in this deal.
They are both officers. Majlo protects Barth, and Barth protects Majlo.