Police dogs compete in Lawrenceburg, IN

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

LAWRENCEBURG, IH (FOX19) - Police department canines from all over the country came to Dearborn County, Indiana, to compete to see who was "top dawg".

It looked like a scene right out of a movie, with helicopters landing, plus dozens of police cars lit-up and circling the Lawrenceburg High School Stadium.

Boone County Sheriff's deputies were there assisting on horseback and to display our country's colors for the playing of our National Anthem.

It was incredible watching the police dogs launch into action.

"Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio of course," said Lawrenceburg Police Captain Doug Taylor.

Police departments from ten different states were in Lawrenceburg, showing who's dog's got the right stuff. There were about a hundreds dogs in all, being put through the paces at this free seminar.

"That helps out a lot of departments, especially with multiple dog teams," Captain Taylor said. "Something like this would be 200 to 250 dollars per team, so we've got a couple teams here with four from their department, so you can do the math and see what a savings it is to the department."

Whether was sniffing for drugs in a passive manner or in a more aggressive manner, each time the dogs were rewarded for their hard work.

"The dogs come in so many handy ways as far as finding the bad guys or bad girls or finding the big thing is the narcotics, the drugs, getting them off the street," Taylor said.

The dogs are also judged on speed using a laser, as it ran toward a police officer wearing a special "bite suit". The dogs would run down the football field and leap onto the officer, teeth ready to lock-on and take him down.

"The dog was clocked at 21 miles per hour," the announcer proclaimed to the wildly applauding audience, well over a thousand people, who weighed-in on which dog they thought, took down the ":bad guy" the best.

Mike McHenry of Elkhart County, Indiana, is a Master Trainer.

We watched him put on one of those bite suits and then a police dog named, "Cib", from the Aurora, Indiana Police Department, came leaping toward him, and locked-onto his arm.

Captain Taylor said the dog trainers and officers develop a special closeness with their prized pets.

"Everybody gets close to their pets," Taylor said. "I mean, some people treat pets better than some people treat people but it is, it's a very close bond with your dog as far as working."

Police said the dogs are a critical part of their daily crime fighting. And just having the event in Lawrenceburg, is a nice shot in the arm for the city as well.

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