Consistency in Police K9 training is paramount from handler/K9 performance to protection of agency and officer liability. From initial training to weekly maintenance training, having a location that can provide all of the different technical aspects that go into Police Service Dog training is hard to find. With the help of several citizens in the community and the Bellevue Public Safety Foundation, we could easily get this project started.
For approximately $500,000, this multi-agency training facility can be possible. All money will be fundraised with assistance of corporations, citizens as well as additional grants that may be available. The property being proposed for this building is already owned by the City of Bellevue and zoned for this type of building. Future up-keep would be conducted by the handlers from the agencies involved in this project.
The Southeast Metro Police K9 Unit consists or members from the following agencies in Nebraska: Bellevue Police, La Vista Police, Papillion Police, Sarpy County Sheriff, Dodge County Sheriff. And the following agencies in Iowa: Fremont County Sheriff, Council Bluffs Police, Pottawattamie County Sheriff and Iowa Department of Transportation. Other agencies that occasionally participate in training are the Douglas County Sheriff, Omaha Police and Nebraska State Patrol.
Police Service Dogs (PSDs) have always been important to their respective departments as a support unit. PSDs are called upon from outside agencies as well, not just their own and are used as a tool for detecting illegal drugs, locating dangerous criminals that are evading and/or resisting law enforcement. Occasionally PSDs are called to locate lost and endangered children and adults. In many cases, these animals have protected officers from being assaulted and assisted officers with locating evidence or people. We also participate in several community demonstrations and PSD education sessions throughout the year.
Police Service Dog certification training is extensive, intensive and lasts several months. To maintain the integrity of PSD’s, a minimum of one training day a week is required after initial certification. The one maintenance training day a week is used to further educate the dog and handler on new concepts regarding deployments and the ever changing world of illegal drugs and concealment methods.
Every week an officer from one of the many agencies involved in training has to locate a training site. Things that have to be considered are whether civilians or other officers may get in the way; accidentally or on purpose. The training locations have to be somewhat realistic so as to simulate locations during deployments. Sometimes driving from one location to the other takes up part of the training day or too small of a training location does not allow for all of the dogs to get the proper amount of training in. Recently many training locations have been lost do to demolition, being sold and overcrowding of the facilities.
The Southeast Metro K9 Unit began facing many of these obstacles over the past 2 years. As a group we began exploring the options for a permanent PSD training facility that would encompass the requisite options for multi faceted training for PSD’s and handlers. Since this idea began, we have been afforded the assistance of Leo A Daly and Associates, an architectural firm, who has provided plan designs and guidance for the facility at no charge. We have applied for and received a matching funds grant from the Gary & Mary West Foundation. We have received a check for $100,000 and once matched we will receive another check for an additional $100,000. We continue to apply for grants and ask for donations.
Southeast Metro Police
K9 Training Center.