LCCC Police Academy graduate Mitch Lorig patrols North Ridgeville alongside his K-9 partner Hector

For Mitch Lorig, the most rewarding part of a being a police office is going home each night knowing he helped people.  

“That’s a big part of our job and I enjoy that,” Lorig, 34, says. “Going home every day knowing that I did something for somebody to help them out, that’s where you get your most satisfaction as a police officer.” 

And when the North Ridgeville police officer goes home after a shift, he does not head there alone. Every evening Lorig brings home his partner and his best friend. In addition to being a patrol officer, Lorig is the canine handler for Hector, a 7-year-old German Shepard. 

“He’s a part of my family,” Lorig says. “He never leaves my side, unless there’s food being offered.”  

While on duty, Hector is a dual-purpose K-9, cross-trained in narcotics and apprehension. Hector can track footprints on the ground and sniff out suspects through personal items, like clothing. Beyond shifts patrolling in the North Ridgeville city limits, Lorig says Hector’s unique abilities put the pair on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and available to neighboring cities. 

“We can get called anywhere at any time,” Lorig says. “There’s been plenty of times where I’ve been called to Elyria, the airport, Avon, you name it.” 

LLCCC Police Academy graduate Mitch Lorig helps keep his community safe with K-9 partner Hector orig, who grew up in Amherst, says he knew he wanted to be a police officer from the time he was little. For some, childhood career dreams fade over time. But not for him.  

“As I grew older, the want to do that job continued on,” Lorig says. “I set my life up to be as a police officer; there was no other option for me.” 

Lorig earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Law Enforcement from Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania. After moving back to Lorain County, Lorig was accepted into Lorain County Community College’s Police Academy and graduated in 2010. And while every day since has brought new learning and new challenges, looking back, he knows how well the academy trained him. 

“There are certain learning blocks of the academy’s instruction that give officers excellent baseline training for the job,” Lorig says. “From motor vehicle laws, to assault issues, to the firearms training; the knowledge I received helped me tremendously.” 

Lorig says it has also helped to have the community’s support throughout the years. 

“It’s a hard job – even harder than it used to be. But we’re lucky here in North Ridgeville,” Lorig says. “We get waves hello all the time, thank yous all the time. Having that community support makes the job a lot easier.” 

And within that supportive community, he says, LCCC is a staple. While he and Hector are out on patrol, the college often comes up in conversation. 

“I feel like everybody has a connection to LCCC somehow, no matter how you slice it,” Lorig says. “It could be them, their mom, or their kids. But I think most everybody in the county has had an affiliation with LCCC somehow.” 

“I feel like everybody has a connection to LCCC somehow, no matter how you slice it.”
Mitch Lorig, Police Academy graduate