York County Sheriff’s Department canine service dog Dargo wears his badge during a press conference announcing his arrival on the force at the York
York County Sheriff's Department canine service dog Dargo wears his badge during a press conference announcing his arrival on the force at the York County Judicial Center Wednesday, May 15, 2013. The 18-month-old German shepherd will be handled by Lt. David Godfrey. (Bill Kalina photo )

A new member of the York County Sheriff's Office sports a black coat, knows German and isn't even 2 years old.

The German shepherd, Dargo, was formally introduced Wednesday morning in front of a crowd at the county's judicial center.

With his tongue hanging out, Dargo yawned and lay down, unfazed by all the attention. In his well-mannered way, he lounged on the floor with heavy eyes and rested his head on a tan paw.

Even though he hasn't yet mastered house training, he does have is a very particular set of skills he will hone in the next couple of months.

After his completion of service training on July 1, Capt. Dargo will be responsible for the safety of seven buildings and be able to detect bombs and other dangerous items, Sheriff Richard Keuerleber said.

The sheriff's office welcomed Dargo with an official proclamation and service badge.

Hometown pride: The office took 75-pound Dargo home on Friday, and he is already warming up to and following around his handler, Lt. David Godfrey. Imported from the Czech Republic, the worldly pup has traveled the world and communicates with his handler in German.

"Platz," Godfrey instructed, instructing Dargo to stay down.

"He's a great dog," he said. "Great demeanor and willing to learn."

With a $6,500 price tag plus the cost of training in Ohio, the investment was made possible because of Think Loud Development, a company owned by hometown band Live.

When the company asked the sheriff what the biggest hurdle for the office was, he replied that the county could use a bomb-sniffing dog.

Think Loud's response: "Done," said Bill Hynes, CEO and founder of the development company.

That was about two months before the April 15 bombings in Boston, he said.

"It can happen anywhere," Hynes said. "We just want our employees and other citizens to be safe."

Three members of Live were there to introduce Dargo, and lead guitarist Chad Taylor said he wants to be his playmate.

"I want to go out and play fetch with him," he said. "But something tells me that's beneath his skill set."

Partners: Lou, a 5-year-old veteran of the force, looked on with bloodshot eyes. As the room erupted in applause, the bloodhound howled, stunning the people in attendance. The deep cry was benign, although it appeared Lou wanted some attention too.

But it was simply his way of welcoming his new partner, said Sgt. Samuel Shipley, Lou's handler. Lou uses his sense of smell to search for missing people, he said.

The two dogs are still getting used to each other, but they'll be working and playing together regularly. Shipley said Lou is a hotshot with the York County Missing Child Task Force and might take a while to share the spotlight with the rookie.

"Lou's been top dog," Shipley said.

- Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.