BROOKFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Police departments from several states converged on a property in Brookfield for some very specialized training on Monday.
They used the 82 Auto Wrecking yard off of State Route 82 to train K-9 officers and their dogs on obedience skills, as well as searching cars for drugs. Conducting the training was Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville.
Ocean City, Maryland officer Danielle Braniff has been in law enforcement for 13 years. Now, she’s training to become a K-9 officer, along with her four-legged partner Klem.
“This is more work. More hard work than what I went through as a new officer in the academy,” she said.
Training takes about four to six weeks, followed at least 16 hours of training every month. It costs between $15,000 and $20,000 to purchase and train a K-9.
Youngstown Police Officer Josh Kelly said the training is heavily reward-based for the dogs. When the dogs come across a scent they have been trained to alert to, they sit, tail wagging, and wait for their favorite toy.
“The dog is searching for his toy, and that’s a crucial component with this,” Kelly said.
Dogs may go through months of training overseas, where they’re raised before they ever come over to the U.S. Consequently, the training now is just as much for the human handlers as it is for the animals.
“They have to learn techniques to holding a leash, medical aspects of the dogs, how to take care of the dog, feed the dog. They have to learn everything about how to use the dog,” said Jeremy Riley, trainer with Shallow Creek Kennels.