Stark County Sheriff’s Office Holds K9 Water Apprehension Training – InForum

Stark County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Dave Klatt and his K9 partner Jerry Lee prepare for water apprehension training at the West River Community Center outdoor pool on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.

Photo courtesy of Stark County Sheriff’s Office

DICKINSON — As the sweltering hot days of summer give way to the cooler temperatures of fall, the West River Community Center has continued its unique and well-received annual tradition of turning off its pool chemicals for a last aptly named summer eruption, the “Pooch Pool Party”. ”

Before paws of all sizes hit the pool at Dickinson Parks and Recreation’s seventh annual event, their four-legged friends working for the Stark County Sheriff’s Office took advantage of a new training opportunity.

In 2015, Stark County Sheriff Corey Lee, then a K9 manager with the Dickinson Police Department, attended a four-day K9 training seminar in Kansas City, MO. It was during this seminar that he made friends with two expert trainers.

Back at Dickinson, the Dickinson Police Department invited the two trainers to host an annual Midwest K9 seminar. The training exposes K9s to a variety of unusual scenarios that an officer and his four-legged partner may encounter – from suspects on top of vehicles to apprehension in water.

“As scenarios come up in real life, you try to adapt your training to include those types of scenarios. As with any other form of training, the more exposure you have to training, the better c is, and so are our K9s,” Lee said. “The first time we practiced in the water, it was very surprising how many dogs were unwilling or unwilling to get into the water. the water.”

Lee said it was in this training in 2016 that he developed a program, in coordination with the two trainers, to accustom K9s to apprehension in aquatic environments. Lee said he had little trouble getting his former partner, K-9 Gambit, used to being in the water.

“Luckily with Gambit, he had such drive and had no experience with bodies of water that he charged 100% and sank like a stone,” Lee said. “Gambit didn’t know what water was and thought it was soil, but his training was so high that he continued the engagement anyway.”

Since 2016, law enforcement in the area have taken advantage of an opportunity offered by the West River Community Center to conduct their annual K9 water apprehension training.

Lt. Eldon Mehrer said the sheriff’s office is grateful for the continued partnership it has with Dickinson Parks and Recreations and allowing them to use facilities at the West River Community Center.

“We’re very grateful to them for allowing us to do this. The things you do in training, you try to do them as realistically as possible in case you come across this real life… (So) you know these K-9s are tools we use and you want to make sure your tools will work when you really need them,” Mehrer said. “…Our overall goal is to make our communities across Stark County better places to live and work and enabling people to do the things they love. Having our officers prepared for the things they might encounter is what we try to do when we train.”

Stark County Sheriff's Office K9 Water Apprehension Training
Stark County Sheriff Corey Lee helps train a K9 at the West River Community Center outdoor pool Tuesday, August 23, 2022.

Photo courtesy of Stark County Sheriff’s Office

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