The newest member of the Hialeah Police Department was introduced to the public yesterday, but instead of a badge or gun he got a collar.
Jimmy, a 5-month-old bloodhound, will be partnering with Officer Nelson Enriquez to help track criminals and, more importantly, missing children.
Jimmy, named in honor of the late Jimmy Ryce, was donated to the department by the Jimmy Ryce Foundation with the help of Mr. Don Ryce, the father who lost his son in one of the most infamous kidnapping cases in South Florida.
"We decided as a tribute to the child to name Jimmy after the child," Enriquez said. "I think that's the best thing we could do. To me it's a wonderful thing."
Don Ryce attended the ceremony yesterday, and he felt the naming was a fitting tribute.
"Anything that reminds me of my son in a positive way is great," Ryce said.
In September of 1995, Don's son Jimmy Ryce was kidnapped one block from his home, raped and then killed. His body was found three months later near the home of Juan Carlos Chavez, who confessed to the killing. Chavez has been sentenced to death for the murder.
The bloodhound is a super tracker that can detect human scent for 100 hours and can track anything non-stop for 100 miles. And in a missing child case, finding the child quickly could mean the difference between life and death.
"The main thing they've got going for them is that nose. They have 60 times the scent power of the German Shepherd. There's no other dog like em," Ryce said.
"I look forward to hearing about Jimmy saving a kid in the future."
Officer Enriquez looks forward to walking the beat with his new best friend.
"Oh, I love him, I love him to death. He's great," Enriquez said.