Canine Officers Continue to Play Integral Part in Keeping City Safe
“Free Air” sniffs around suspect vehicles to detect narcotics. Tracking missing persons. Protecting officers from aggressive and dangerous suspects. These are all jobs of the Canine Unit of the Oxford Police Department. The Department received a second dog into its Canine Unit, which serves as an important tool used by the OPD to both protect the City and keep citizens safe.
The canine unit added its newest member, a German Shepherd named Cole, to the force. Cole joined the other patrol and narcotic dog, Dover, currently on the force. Cole and Dover were purchased from overseas by breeders who specifically raise police dogs. All police dogs and their trainers go through an extensive training process. “They go through a sixteen week training course – one on one – just the dog and the trainer. This way they build their bond and learn teamwork,” said Horvath, supervisor of the unit. After the initial training, the dogs and their handlers train twice a month with other department’s canine units. “Training is ultra-important,” stated Horvath.
The dogs go on patrol with their handlers on weekend nights, when there is the most need for their assistance, and are capable of performing “Free Air” sniffs for narcotics, searching through commercial buildings, and various other tasks. If an officer pulls over a vehicle and has suspicions that there might be drugs in the car, he can walk the dog around the car (performing a “Free Air” sniff). If the dog detects narcotics, the officer then has probable cause to perform a search.
When the dogs are not on patrol, they enjoy being their handler’s pet. “It’s incredible. At home they play and are part of the family; but the dogs know that when they jump into that patrol car, it’s time to work,” said Horvath.
For more information, contact Tom Horvath at (513) 524-5254.