A new, free educational comic starring Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office K-9 deputies Mik & Nero debuted last week at Clackamas County’s Wellness, Safety and Sustainability Fair.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: CCSO - Mik and Nero are pictured from left.“Mik & Nero: Distracted Danger” is a joint production by Oregon Impact and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. It follows the disastrous misadventures of a teen driver named Charlie, who thinks it’s OK to text and drive. He learns a tough lesson when his life flashes before his eyes following a road mishap caused by his cell-phone use while behind the wheel.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: CCSO - This is a sample page from the comic book 'Mik & Nero: Distracted Danger,' released last week by the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.“This comic was created to educate our youth on the risks of distracted driving,” writes Oregon Impact Executive Director Janelle Lawrence in the comic’s intro. “Texting and cell-phone use significantly increase a driver’s risk of crashing. Even a single, momentary distraction while driving can cause a lifetime of devastating consequences.”

The comic is available in print in the lobbies of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Brooks Building, 9101 S.E. Sunnybrook Blvd., Clackamas, and the Public Safety Training Center, 12700 S.E. 82nd Ave. It also is online as a free downloadable PDF at and will be delivered to local Clackamas County libraries this month.

Nine separate “Mik & Nero” comics and activity books have been produced over the past six years in partnership with other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private sponsors. Nearly 300,000 copies have been printed to date.

They have been distributed free through CCSO programs targeting young people, as well as many other groups and organizations serving that same demographic across Oregon. Production of the books has largely been paid for by grants from local, state and federal programs, as well as private businesses.

K-9s Mik and Nero appear in each book and are based on real Sheriff’s Office canine deputies Mik and Nero. The dogs help teach young readers about road safety, saying “no” to abuse, and the dangers of drugs and drinking and driving, among other topics.

Meet the real police dogs

The real Mik and Nero have enjoyed exploits worthy of their cartoon adventures.

Nero is a German Shepherd/Malanois mix. He was born in March 2005 and raised in the Czech Republic. CCSO purchased Nero from Adlerhorst International in Riverside, Calif., in November 2006, when the dog was 18 months old.

Mik and Nero went through the same basic 240-hour K-9 training course together in the winter of 2007. After graduation, Nero was assigned to work the swing shift with Deputy Bradley O’Neil, who says Nero can’t wait to go to work each night. Preferring to work in the dark, Nero tracks suspects who run from crime scenes and finds items suspects try to hide while fleeing. When Nero is relaxing off-duty, he loves to play with a weighted exercise ball in the backyard of his Clackamas home.

Mik was a Belgian Malanois, born in April 2003. He died in 2010. Mik was raised as a sporting dog in Holland and was chosen and purchased by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office in November 2006.

“We can’t think of a better way to honor Mik’s service than by letting him live on in these comics,” said Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts.

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