Toledo gets new police dog-handler units

10/28/2013
BLADE STAFF
Toledo police Officer Joseph Taylor, left, introduces his furry teammate Joker, 17 months old, to Deputy chief Don Kenney, center, and Chief Derrick Diggs, right.
Toledo police Officer Joseph Taylor, left, introduces his furry teammate Joker, 17 months old, to Deputy chief Don Kenney, center, and Chief Derrick Diggs, right.

Toledo Police Chief Derrick Diggs today introduced two new police dog-handler units that are joining the police force.

Certified Friday, their job is to search buildings for explosives, track suspects, search for evidence, and assist in apprehending suspects, Chief Diggs said at a news conference today at the Civic Center Mall downtown.

The dogs cost $6,500 each. The training for an explosives dog-handler team is an additional $7,200. The money comes from a law enforcement trust fund.

The two dogs are dual trained in explosives and tracking. The dog-handler teams went through a six-week training program, Chief Diggs said.

The two dogs came from a breeder in Germany, who sells dogs to the German Army and police departments.

There will be four more dogs joining the police department before the end of the year, with some to be trained in searching for narcotics, with one dog coming from the Czech Republic. They will be put into service as soon as their training is complete.

The six male German shepherds are an addition to two narcotics dogs Toledo police already have. Training for a narcotics dog-handler team is $6,800.

Toledo Mayor Mike Bell, who also was at the event, said "The idea is ... being able to bring in techniques that have been used throughout the United States to better equip the police department."