MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- Middletown Police Department has turned to man’s best friend to help crack down on drug-related crime in problem neighborhoods.
Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said the K-9 unit responded to 4,874 calls in 2016 and aided the police department in making 151 warrant arrests, 128 complainant arrests and 44 felony arrests.
Odin is one of the four (soon to be five) K-9s working alongside Middletown police officers.
Sergeant Andy Warrick, Odin’s handler, said Odin is specifically trained to sniff out narcotics.
"Soon we'll have a total of five canines,” Warrick said. “Four will be dual purpose patrol and also narcotics, and then we have K-9 Odin, which is my K-9. He is strictly narcotics."
In addition to sniffing out narcotics and other drugs, Sergeant Andy Warrick said the dogs allow police officers to connect more with the community.
“You get to go out and meet the public,” Warrick said. “It's a great tool in that aspect and also the canine's nose is phenomenal.
“Besides finding narcotics during burglaries they can track individuals. We have found them hiding underneath vehicles, in tree lines trying to stay camouflaged, but the dog finds them."
During the last year, Middletown Police Department has been targeting problem areas, and the department plans to have even more officers on the streets in 2017.
Warrick thinks monitoring areas closely with the canines has helped curb drug-related crime.
"We've all realized that a lot of the calls for service that we have within the community usually come from very small pockets in that area,” Warrick said. “With that, the chief has put together task forces to help implement solving the problems also addressing them, and with that we're able to utilize the canines.
“Typically the bad guys don't want to be in the area of the canines because the dog's nose knows."