Frederick Police Department is welcoming their first K-9 since 2017.
The nine-year-long running K-9 unit was put on hold in 2017 after retiring their last dog, Buran. Due to low staffing levels and other priorities, it took a while to get the unit up and running again.
However, following a 1% sales and use tax increase in 2019, the department now projects to generate nearly $1.5 million annually, enough to increase officer retention, hire more officers, invest in new equipment and restart the K-9 program.
Now, three years later, Town of Frederick is onboarding their newest member to the revived unit, a 15-month-old German Shepherd-Belgian Malinois crossbreed temporarily named Eden.
Eden was chosen from among 12 different dogs at a special K-9 training center for his hunting skills and other behavioral traits. Officer Ian Austin traveled all the way to F.M. K-9 Center in Michigan to select Eden, which cost nearly $7,000 dollars. He said he was looking for a number of attributes during the selection process.
“One of the first things we tested was his hunt and how much he uses his nose and how engaged he is when using his nose…I want a dog that will stand its ground and not take off in the other direction. But I also don’t want a dog that wants to fight anybody and everybody. He’s very calm.”
The new K-9 will serve as a patrol dog and assist in narcotics detection, according to TimesCall.
Officials sent out a call to residents on Facebook for name suggestions for the new canine officer. Town spokesperson Angela Wilson said the town received more than 582 suggestions and the dog’s official name is now Bosch.
Frederick police Patrol Commander Justin Glantz explained the importance of the K-9 unit.
“Having a K-9 program is a true asset to the department and to the community as a whole. The skills and abilities a K-9 has provides the department with an extra tool to help in locating illegal narcotics, increase officer safety, help in locating missing persons, and just the overall interaction with the community as a whole,” he wrote in an email to TimesCall.
Austin, who is a certified trainer instructor from the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training, and has 10 years of K-9 experience under his belt as a sergeant, echoed Glantz’s sentiment about the value and use of K-9s in law enforcement.
“The K-9 unit really increases manpower. It cuts down on time for certain aspects. We’re able to clear buildings faster. Then just the benefit of having the extra tool of his nose. K-9 units, their main benefit is the nose as a locating tool for suspects, runaways, missing or endangered people or illegal substances,” he said.
Austin plans to begin Bosch’s eight-week training in May, and has already been working on the dog’s obedience skills. Austin hopes the program will eventually be expanded to include at least one other dog in the future.