The Virginia Tech Police Department is pleased to announce the newest member of the force: Zuka, a 16-month-old German shepherd.

Zuka comes to Virginia Tech from the Czech Republic by way of a Pennsylvania police dog trainer and supplier. He was trained through the North American Police Work Dog Association and Virginia Police Work Dog Association.

Zuka will provide apprehension and narcotic detection services for the Virginia Tech Police Department. He replaces 6-year-old Bax who retired after four years of service to the Virginia Tech community due to illness. Bax passed away in December.

Zuka’s handler is Officer Jaret Reece. Officer Reece has served in the K-9 program since 2009.

In 2002, the Virginia Tech Police Department was the first university police department in the state to establish a K-9 program.

The department currently has three K-9 teams actively engaged in the university’s policing efforts. K-9 teams patrol campus and are responsible for sweeping Lane Stadium and other university facilities in advance of major events, including football games, graduations, and guest speakers. Each of the dogs has specialized training that can include tracking suspects and missing people or searching for drugs or explosives. The K-9 teams also offer community demonstrations throughout the year.

“Our K-9 teams are an unmatched asset for advancing safety and security at Virginia Tech,” said Virginia Tech Police Chief Kevin Foust. “As we mourn the loss of Bax, we’re very proud to welcome Zuka to the Virginia Tech Police team and university community.”

Click here to learn more about the Virginia Tech Police K-9 program.