Hope Center Indy building to be K9 training facility – The Daily Reporter
INDIANAPOLIS — Wagging his tail, the black lab slowly walks past a chest of drawers, a cardboard box of decorations and an upholstered chair.
Coming to the standing lamp, the dog is sitting. She smelled what is hidden in the base of the lamp.
A new building on the Hope Center Indy campus will become a breeding site for dogs that will be trained to detect electronic evidence in human trafficking and child exploitation cases.
The ministry located at 11850 Brookville Road, just west of New Palestine and the Marion-Hancock County line, serves women coming out of human trafficking, as well as some recovering from abuse or addiction. The residential facility, located in the former Marion County House, provides a safe place for women to receive counseling, gain more education and learn skills to help them transition into a better future. It is funded by donations and grants, as well as various businesses on campus – including a boutique, salon, wedding barn and greenhouse – which also provide opportunities for women to gain work experience.
Sara Feasel, director of development at the centre, said that while it works on the treatment side of the fight against human trafficking, other organizations are working on rescues and prosecutions. Operation Underground Railroad is one such group. He financed the construction of the “K9 barn” to the east of the main Hope Center buildings.
Crews painted rooms in the building this week. Soon it will be a place where Todd Jordan can house and train Labradors to detect electronic storage devices, which often contain evidence in cases of trafficking and exploitation, but are often hidden when law enforcement arrives. .
“They’re going to hide it in really tricky places,” Feasel said. “(Dogs) are able to find a lot of evidence.”
The Hope Center’s first dog, Layla, was raised last year by a Hope Center graduate before spending two weeks training with her new handler. Layla and a group of other dogs graduated on Friday before heading to their new jobs. Layla will work for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Jordan, an Anderson firefighter and former chief of the Vernon Township Fire Department, said he trained dogs to be incendiary K9s. These dogs find “accelerators” or flammable substances such as kerosene or gasoline that could have been used to quickly start a large fire. But in his friendships with other police and firefighters, they talked about other tasks the dogs could be trained to do. A friend was part of a task force focused on internet crimes against children and spoke of hard to find evidence; Jordan said maybe a dog could be trained to detect that.
One of Jordan’s first electronic storage detection K9s helped find evidence in the case of former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle. The same dog later found evidence in the case involving former gymnastics coach Marvin Sharp. When these cases came to light, “Everyone noticed what the dogs were doing,” said Jordan, now owner, program developer and head trainer of Jordan Detection K9.
For a few years, Jordan brought dogs to the Hope Center’s 25-acre campus for training. He plans to train 40 dogs this year and said having the building in the center is a big plus, “a one-stop shop”.
Having dogs on campus in the future, including puppies to raise, should also be a therapeutic presence for center residents. Their arrival will also provide additional opportunities to gain resume-building experience for women who would like to work as veterinary technicians or groomers, Feasel said.
“It also provides a ton of opportunity for our residents,” she said.