UCPD hires two bomb-sniffing dogs

Posted at 8:02 PM, Nov 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-30 20:02:01-05

CINCINNATI -- The University of Cincinnati Police Department is getting a pair of extra noses to sniff out trouble.

Two Labrador retrievers, Dozer and Boomer, will be the first K-9 officers in UCPD's explosive detection program.

The pair are specially trained to sniff out 26 different explosive chemicals. James Whalen, UC's director of public safety, said the program isn't in response to any particular threat, but rather because UCPD uses K-9 officers so much already.

"We've hired experienced handlers and K-9 teams from other agencies, primarily the Cincinnati Police Department, to sweep any areas where we are going to baseball games, basketball games, football games, parades -- any major event like that," Whalen said. "We saw that it would benefit the entire campus community to have that in house."

Dozer and Boomer got their training in Indiana, and they're being paired up with officers who were already on staff at UC. Together, the dogs and handlers went through 200 hours of training, then spent five weeks working with other local K9 teams.

Funding for UC's program comes from the Matt Haverkamp Foundation, which helps pay for K-9 programs nationwide.

The dogs' first demonstration will be at the Sheakley Athletics Center Practice Bubble on Tuesday morning.