Campus police hire three dogs for K-9 unit


Photo by Jennifer Lett

Nate Nkumbu, Contributing Writer


he university’s police department will have some fresh faces in the coming months — German shepherds Odin, Zeus and Max — as part of its new K-9 Unit.

In an email, campus police Sgt. Gary Grande said they will be tasked with sniffing for bombs and drugs. He added that the department had looked into incorporating a K-9 unit for quite some time.

“[Interim Police Chief Sean] Brammer has always wanted a K-9 unit for the police department,” Grande said. “With me being a former K-9 handler on a university campus, I agreed that it could be a wonderful community-oriented policing unit and provide added safety and security for the campus.”

Grande explained that the dog handler job is a seven-day-a-week affair. “With the dogs, it’s a 24/7 thing.”

He continued: “Coming to work is playtime for them. As soon as I put on my uniform, the dogs know it’s time to go to work. Likewise, as soon as we come home, they know it’s time to relax and cool down.”

Grande mentioned that the camaraderie developed through time together is vital to making the job fulfilling.

“We get to be around the dogs, and the dogs get to be around people. That’s one aspect of the job that me and the other handlers enjoy,” the sergeant said. “The dogs see work as a reward for them.”

Officer Michael Marzigliano, another one of the dog handlers, said, “We don’t send the dogs straight to the work field without first getting used to the environment at hand. Once the dogs get done with the exposure period, the dogs should begin their work in the fall.”

Nate Nkumbu is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @FoureyedNate.