Officer Nathan Hartman hired on with the Bethalto Police Department in January 2001. Officer Hartman and his four year old German Shepherd partner Sid comprise the only canine team for Bethalto Police Department. Sid is a dual-purpose narcotics detection and patrol dog and the team maintains certifications for both functions, as well as licensing through the Drug Enforcement Administration. Officer Hartman and Sid are members of the United States Police Canine Association in addition to the East/West Police Canine Group.
Sid underwent thorough testing and screening by a U.S. trainer before being selected and brought over from the Czech Republic, where he was born. The duo completed an intense six week basic academy at Top Dogs Canine Academy in Evansville, Indiana before hitting the streets in March 2003. Since that time, Sid has been credited with the capture of nine felony suspects, one of which awarding him a Citation of Merit from the United States Police Canine Association. Sid has also aided in the finding of a teenage runaway with health problems and the development of numerous leads and evidence in other cases. Sid's well-tuned ability to detect narcotics has led to several search warrants, both state and federal, and the seizure of many different types of narcotics and items of drug paraphernalia. Sid's larger seizures include a nine pound and a ten pound seizure of cannabis.
Officer Hartman and Sid thank the citizens of Bethalto for their enduring support of the canine program. Students, parents, and staff of Parkside Elementary in 2005 raised $725 to purchase a bulletproof vest to protect Sid while he's protecting them.