The Canine Unit and Its Goals
The Glendale Police Department Canine Unit was created to help the department with its primary function, the preservation of life and property. The Canine Unit assists in achieving this goal by promoting an atmosphere of service and safety in the community, utilizing canines in general and specialized patrol to enhance crime prevention, crime suppression, criminal investigations and Police Officer/Citizen protection.
The Canine Unit became a reality in April 1999 after several years of effort and planning by Police Department Officers and Staff. The initial start up of the Canine Unit was funded in total by donations from the private sector. Credit is to be given to local businesses and individual citizens who provided the donations to make this program a reality.
K-9 Brix comes to the Glendale Police Department from Shallow Creek Kennels in Pennsylvania, but he was born in Europe. Brix is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois and is a dual-purpose K-9. A dual-purpose K-9 is trained to locate and alert to the odor of narcotics and is also trained in patrol functions – tracking, criminal apprehension, and officer protection. Brix is trained to locate and alert to the odor of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and their derivatives.
K-9 Brix was sworn in on August 6, 2019, and works with his handler, Officer Aron Bechler. K-9 Brix and Officer Bechler are currently assigned to late shift. The team trains on a daily basis to make sure they remain proficient in their skills. When he is not at work, K-9 Brix lives with Officer Bechler at his residence.
- TRACKING - Providing that conditions for tracking are suitable, the canine can track human beings through a combination of human scent and ground disturbance. Tracking is used mostly in locating and following a suspects trail from the scene of various crimes, such as burglary, robbery, prowling, etc.
- BUILDING SEARCHES - The use of canines to search buildings and homes is perhaps the most utilized of all the abilities they possess. A large warehouse, office building, house or school which has been burglarized, or in which the alarm has been activated, are places where the canine is most functional.
- CRIME SCENE/EVIDENCE SEARCHES - The canine can point out objects within a specific area that are foreign to the ground. Canines can be very useful in recovery of physical evidence in brush and tall grass.
- OPEN AREA SEARCHES - Glendale has many densely vegetated areas which can provide suspects with hiding places. Often these suspects are armed and pose a danger to the officers who are required to arrest them. A properly trained canine can be used in these situations to locate the suspect while minimizing the danger to Police Officers. The canine, with his superior olfactory and hearing senses, is capable of conducting a more thorough search in less time than even a large number of officers.
- APPREHENSION OF FLEEING SUSPECTS - Occasionally the canine may be called upon to apprehend and contain a fleeing suspect. This can prevent the use of greater force to subdue a fleeing or combative suspect. At any point before the apprehension, if the suspect gives up, the canine can be recalled without apprehension.
- NARCOTIC SEARCHES - The use of canines to locate narcotics is another valuable ability. Canines can locate hidden narcotics using their superior olfactory skills. These narcotics can be hidden in false vehicle compartments, behind false walls or any other area in which small or large quantities can be concealed. Brix is presently trained to locate the odor of methamphetamine, cocaine, cocaine base, and heroin.
The Canine Unit trains on a consistent basis to keep the canine/handler team sharp and proficient at their skills. The canine/handler team train virtually on a daily basis and once a month they train with a group of other canine handler's in the area. The Canine Unit Supervisor is Lt. William Schieffer who oversees the canine training.
The Glendale Police Department takes great pride in its Canine Unit and its accomplishments. Its peers recognize the Canine Unit, as a very valuable asset to the Police Department and the community.
Contacting The Unit
The Canine Unit often performs presentations/demonstrations for local civic groups and organizations. These presentations focus on the job or a working Police Canine and its handler as a way of creating a better understanding of the Canine Unit with the community. To inquire about scheduling a presentation/demonstration by the Canine Unit, or if you have any other questions, please contact the Glendale Police Department at (414) 228-1753.