On Monday, October 17, 2016, students and faculty at Meredith College gathered to kick off Criminology Week with some special visitors from the Raleigh Police Department K-9 Unit. Representing the Unit were Officers Ford and Kellog, and their four-legged patrollers, Bronco, a dark brown German shepherd, and a beige Belgian Malinois named Edo.
The presentation began with a brief summary of K-9 officers’ job description. Officer Kellog explained to students and faculty how well-trained police dogs like Bronco and Edo help officers accomplish tasks that are physically difficult for humans. Locating items in tall grass and forests, sniffing out illegal drugs, leading law enforcement to hidden explosives, and apprehending suspects are some of the tasks that K-9s perform.
Officer Kellog demonstrated Bronco’s intelligence and obedience, commanding the German shepherd to sit and stay until he was called, and to follow unwaveringly on command. Officer Ford presented Edo’s ability to sniff out various items that volunteers tossed onto the grass.
Finally, there was a demonstration by Ford, Kellog, and Bronco, on suspect apprehension. Officer Ford cloaked his arm in a training guard and immediately the German shepherd standing at officer Kellog’s side stiffened. His long, intelligent brown ears were straight and attentive, his dark eyes locked on the guard arm, ready to pursue. Ford jogged. Kellog gave the word, and K-9 Bronco sprinted after Ford with amazing agility, leaping and latching his teeth into the training guard, unrelenting until Kellog commanded for Bronco to stop.
Kellog explained to the audience that K-9s are not trained to be vicious. He said they are very obedient and desire to work, but that the K-9s are trained to be sociable. When Officers Kellog and Ford are off duty, they take their K-9s home. “They behave like any other dog at home,” said Officer Kellog.
After the demonstration, Officers Kellog and Ford took questions from students and faculty and let them pet Bronco.
“We’re looking for new K-9 officers,” said Kellog in response to a student’s question. “But it’s not something you just walk into.” He explained that all K-9 officers are trained as regular police officers first and that the competition between those seeking K-9 positions is very high.
Other events from Criminology Week included presentations by correctional officers, a forensic anthropologist, accountant, and photographer, and FBI crime scene analysts. Criminology Week was sponsored by the criminology and sociology programs, sociology and criminology club, and supported by the political science, accounting, social work, and psychology programs and the dean of arts and humanities.
By Darrielle Milford, ’19