Mutin might look like any other 2-year-old Belgian Malinois when he plays with his yellow ball.

Mutin might look like any other 2-year-old Belgian Malinois when he plays with his yellow ball.

But criminals won't want to be anywhere near the police dog when his handler, Pataskala police officer Alex Colles, gives the signal to apprehend a suspect.

"He's like a 90-pound monster," Colles said last week after demonstrating the power of Mutin's bite.

"His bite has 800 times the force of a human," said Randy Morton, one of the police division's other K-9 handlers. "He could snap an arm bone."

Mutin was delivered to the department in May, and he and Colles trained together until Mutin's first official day of work June 24.

"He was on the street for 53 minutes before he made his first felony apprehension," Chief Bruce Brooks said. "I don't know if it gets much better than that."

Officer Greg Dearth said police responded to a call about the theft of prescription pills from a home in the 500 block of Jefferson Street.

When officers arrived, the suspected thief ran.

Colles said Mutin was responding to a command to apprehend the man when he abruptly surrendered.

Mutin responded to Colles' command to stop.

Mutin was trained by Teus Tijsseling of Sculpadog, a breeding company based in Stadskanaal, a city in the Netherlands.

Colles said much of the training allowed him to understand all that Mutin knows and how to direct the dog using the commands.

"They worked extremely well together," Morton said. "All the pieces fit together. Alex is a good handler and I'm excited because the two as a team already have shown success. I think they will have a great career."

Colles seemed like a natural to step into the division's K-9 program because he has owned and trained dogs.

"I grew up around dogs and every dog I've owned I've taken the time to train them properly," he said.

Colles said he owns three large dogs, a Siberian husky, a Labrador retriever and a boxer-Shar-Pei mix, and police dogs typically live with their handlers.

He said Mutin has had no issues living with three canine companions.

Colles said he was up for the new challenge of becoming a K-9 handler and he is "astonished at what the dog can do."

"Once I grasped how (handling) works, we built a bond," he said.

Colles said he and Mutin would continue to train a minimum of 16 hours per month while working together, and he is committed to working and keeping Mutin.

"I feel I'm lucky to have the opportunity," Colles said.

The police division plans to retire its 9-year-old dogs, Nero and Junior, this year.

Nero and Junior are handled by Morton and Mike Reitz, respectively.

Mutin was purchased, trained and equipped with money from local donations. Residents initially donated $8,000, which was matched by Ann and Andy Walther for a total of $16,000.

Morton said the city ended up receiving more than $20,000 in donations.

He said the city equipped a second police cruiser for a K-9 unit by trading cruiser parts to Johnstown for parts from a Johnstown Police Department K-9 cruiser.

Morton said one of the Johnstown police dogs retired and the department needed to return the cruiser to regular service.

He said Pataskala paid an estimated $1,500 to upgrade its cruiser with the new parts and nearly $900 to purchase equipment for Colles.

Mutin cost approximately $8,000, which means the city spent a little more than $10,000 to acquire, train and equip the new K-9 unit.

Morton said enough money is left in the fund for a second new dog and corresponding equipment.

The city would not have to equip a second cruiser for a K-9 unit because the department already has one vehicle being used by the retiring K-9s.

Morton said city leaders hope to acquire the second new police dog early in 2016.