- Associated Press - Monday, February 29, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The handler of an Omaha police dog that was killed on duty in January has been paired with another dog and the new team will prepare for their hazardous duty by training at the department’s regional center.

Kobus, a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois, was shot to death Jan. 23 near the end of a daylong standoff with a man who police were trying to serve with a warrant ordering a psychiatric examination. Police said Mark L’Heureux, 59, shot Kobus as officers tried to move in. L’Heureux later surrendered.

L’Heureux died a few days later at an Omaha hospital after he was found unresponsive at Douglas County Jail. His death is being investigated.

Kobus’ handler, Officer Matthew McKinney, already was scheduled to be trained with another dog because Kobus was expected to retire in March.

McKinney and his new partner will undergo 16 weeks of work at the Gary and Mary West Regional Canine Training Center, learning how to lead the way for other uniformed patrol officers, detectives and even SWAT teams. The Omaha department holds a training camp whenever it needs to prepare new dog-and-officer teams.

A police dog is “the greatest tool an officer can have when it’s midnight and so dark that you can’t see five feet in front of you,” Omaha police Sgt. Steve Worley told the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1nbJFrj ).

Worley oversees training at the center and is licensed by the state to certify police dog teams.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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