E-Bully E-Bulletin
Calendar Latest news News Archive www.mccc.edu

Area Law Enforcement Officers Demonstrate Skill, Techniques of Police Dogs at MCCC


WEST WINDSOR – Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Criminal Justice students got a first-hand look at the use and effectiveness of law enforcement K-9 units during a demonstration on the MCCC quad Oct. 13.

Officers from the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) and the Ewing Police Department brought three K-9 officers on campus, with specialties that include tracking, search and rescue, apprehension of dangerous suspects, detection of explosives, and detecting illegal drugs. Officers rely on their canine partners much as they would a human partner, according to Sgt. Chris Drew of the MCSD.

“We have no partner – our partner is our dog,” Drew said. “And you can basically train a dog to do practically anything.”

MCSD Officer Dave Smithison brought out K-9 Maverick, a bloodhound, that he described as “bred and engineered to track.” Bloodhounds, he said, are frequently used to find missing persons, and to track suspects who have fled on foot.

Drug dogs, Drew said, are trained to seek out odors associated with specific illegal drugs, and are trained through play. During training, towels – used to play toss and tug-of-war with the dog – are saturated with the smell of the drug the dogs are being trained to detect. When on assignment, the K-9 is actually looking for the towel, Drew said.

By using the K-9 officers, Drew said one dog can complete a search of the average home in five to ten minutes, a task that might take 10 offices more than half an hour.

MCCC Criminal Justice Professor Elizabeth Bondurant (right) and Mercer County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Chris Drew

K-9 Demo video
Criminal Justice Professor Elizabeth Bondurant helps out Mercer County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Chris Drew in a K-9 demo on the quad in this video clip.

It takes about 12 weeks to train a dog for police duty, he said, and noted that the possibility of the legalization of marijuana could spell the end of the careers of some police dogs.

“If they legalize marijuana, there will be a problem with that,” Drew said. “These dogs are already trained.”

In addition, Drew demonstrated the skills of K-9 Hondo, a German Shepherd trained as a patrol dog, but will soon be off to training for the detection of explosives.  Hodo was tasked with demonstrating the “bite and hold” technique used to apprehend dangerous suspects.




Return to Current News

Return to Home Page