Cristina Ray '21, Business Manager

Two police officers, Officer Trosper from Westland and Officer Yudt from Farmington Hills, brought a three year old German Shepherd named Dozer to Mrs. Drews’ room to demonstrate to students how police dogs are used and taught. 

After informing the audience of basic knowledge such as commands like “out” which orders a dog to quit biting, or orders like “sit,” “kneel,” and “come,” the officers acted out an example scenario using a dog bite sleeve and then allowed students to get up and pet the obedient dog. They informed the group that it takes four months to train a dog and after that is completed, they may work for up to 8-10 years. They prioritize teaching the animal obedience.

“We help each other with training our dog,” Trosper said. “You want to keep an eye on the dog. You want to maintain pressure so they don’t slip and bite you [when using a bite sleeve].”

The officers explained the use for the dogs are for finding drugs, which dogs are trained with a ball to learn how to find. Trainers hide both the ball and the drugs together for the dog to find which associates that smell to the ball and when found, is played with as a reward. “Subconsciously, they’re breathing in narcotics and that’s how they connects narcotics with the ball,” Yudt said. 

The visiting officers added that this specific breed is on average faster than Usain Bolt, the fastest human alive, which aids in catching runners that police cannot keep up with. An officer would own a K9 door popper which is a button that as its name suggests; pops open the car door to release the dog.

The students watched with joyful eyes through out, and had wide smiles when the dog ran around searching for planted narcotics as an example.

“I think the presentation is very informational for students,” senior Kaitlyn Hepfinger said. She added, giggling,  “I love dogs; they’re so adorable, even if they’re trained to be vicious.”

Trosper explained, “I think, actually, in 2019 [Officer Yudt] did close to 100 of these…I did probably about 60. Not only schools: churches, city hall events, open houses…” He then went on to say, “My dog just retired and he’s living with me at home. They’re owned by the city. Having a K9 is a liability. I’ll be getting a new dog in a couple months. The dogs are paid for through forfeiture funds.”

Dogs have been used by the police for over 100 years, working side by side to target and catch criminals. They really may be a man’s best friend. 

Law enforcement has a surplus of technology to use that helps with capturing criminals but they cannot replace an energetic and determined pup that dedicates the majority of its life to justice.

Police dogs can be so youthful and still work very hard to do the job expected of them day by day! It doesn’t quite add PUP.