OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio — A few years removed from having its last police K9, the Olmsted Falls Police Department is restarting its unit with the recent addition of Gauge, a 12-week-old Belgian Malinois partnered with Patrolman Dan Daugherty.
“There are several benefits to having a K9 officer in the city,” Police Chief Odis B. Rogers said. “Having a K9 to search for a suspect in a building or in a wooded area, that helps to keep our officers safe. Also, searching for narcotics, it helps keep our community safe.”
Olmsted Falls Mayor James Graven added, “I’m all about increasing safety. I just think the police K9 will keep our officers and citizens more safe.”
Rogers said a few months ago he was approached by Daugherty about reviving the K9 unit, which on average comes with a $20,000 to $25,000 start-up cost related to the purchase of the dog, training and squad car equipment.
“I thought it was a great idea,” Roger said. “Officer Daugherty presented a really in-depth proposal that I presented to Mayor Graven and City Council. Also, the officer got in touch with the same training group we used in the past, Buckeye Area Regional K-9 (BARK).
“After Daugherty attended a couple of training sessions and explained what we were trying to do, BARK offered to donate a dog. Also, we have another police agency willing to donate their old K9 police car insert. Worchester’s in North Ridgeville is donating dog food, while Strongsville Animal Clinic is donating veterinarian services.”
As for Gauge, the puppy joined Daugherty a couple of weeks ago and already started training, which after six months will include certification in narcotics, article searches and tracking. Within a year, the police K9 will also be fully certified in suspect apprehension.
“Gauge is out in the community socializing with the public and getting comfortable riding in the patrol vehicle,” Daugherty said. “Gauge is making an awesome impact with everyone he meets in the community.
“I’m excited about the K9 unit and look forward to training with Gauge each day. He’s going to make strong impact with the community.”
It’s the latter aspect that has Rogers excited about Gauge’s future in Olmsted Falls.
“Another advantage is the community relations aspect of it,” Rogers said. “This dog will be a sociable. That’s something we never had in this department. Our previous K9s have historically been law enforcement, criminal apprehension purposes only.
“Gauge will be a part of the community and also be a very important new officer for the department.”