Sheriff's Department gets first K9
Saturday, November 30, 2013 4:00 AM
A Belgian Malinois named Glock is partnering with Deputy Josh Cochran as part of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department's first K-9 unit.
Glock, who is 18-months-old, is a multi-purpose K-9 that has skills in tracking, finding illegal substances and apprehending suspects. The Malinois breed is smaller than the German shepherd but also commonly used by law enforcement agencies.
Both Cochran and Glock finished their six-week training course in Pennsylvania earlier this week and will begin patrols together on Sunday.
The county had partnered with the Madison Police Department or Lawrenceburg Police Department when a dog was needed.
Glock, originally from Holland, was purchased through community donations and grants from the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County as well as the Jefferson County United Way.
The department also purchased a Ford Explorer equipped with special features for the K-9, including heat monitors. Cochran also will wear a special device that allows him to remotely open the door of the vehicle if Glock is urgently needed in the field.
Cochran, who has been with the sheriff's department since 2009, volunteered to handle the K-9 after Sheriff John Wallace began seeking donations to start the program earlier this year.
"I've just always been a dog lover," said Cochran, adding that he has been around K-9s before because his family has a history working in law enforcement.
Cochran said Glock was bred by a family who often sells dogs to a facility in northwestern Pennsylvania which then trains the animals for law enforcement duties. At the training facility - Shallow Creek Kennels - Cochran learned from K-9 handlers who have decades of experience.
"If I had any question at all they were able to answer it right there," he said.
Cochran uses Dutch commands while in the field. He said Glock particularly thrives in situations involving tracking and drug searches - two scenarios in which the department hopes to use him.
During the training sessions, Cochran said instructors would set up different distractions for the animal. Each time, he said Glock would avoid the distractions - almost as if they were not even there - and continue his objective.
"When it's time to work, it's time for him to work," Cochran said. "And he's on it. I haven't seen him make a mistake yet."
Wallace said he hopes to eventually bring another K-9 to the department in order to have one for each shift. In addition to the perks of having the animals in the field alongside deputies, Wallace said the dogs work as part of the department's community outreach program.
"They're good barrier breakers, as well," he said. "Because everyone loves a dog."