Welcome to the newest member of our team! "Iron" is an 18 month old Czechoslovakian-born German Shepherd. He is currently going through six weeks of training with his partner, Ptl. Poe. Prior to training, Iron had been riding with Ptl. Poe, so they could become acquainted with each other.
K9 Aiko is currently on the road with Officer Ennemoser. Aiko is a 4 year old male German Shepherd, imported from Germany. Aiko and Officer Ennemoser started their 6 week training course when Aiko was 2 years old in May of 2009. They both graduated and certified in June of 2009. Aiko is certified through the State of Ohio, North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWADA) and National Association of Professional K9 Handlers.
Aiko is trained in the following areas: Narcotics Detection, Building Search, Tracking, Area Search, Article/Evidence Search and Handler Protection.
Some of the accomplishments that Aiko has achieved since graduating and certifying are: tracking and apprehending a suspect involved in a stolen vehicle, tracking and apprehending a burglary suspect who assaulted the home owner, and apprehending a burglary suspect, while the residents were upstairs locked in their bedroom. On another occasion, while working with the Portage County Drug Task Force, Ptl. Ennemoser conducted a traffic stop. A search of the vehicle resulted in finding 2.5 pounds of marijuana and 4 ounces of psilocybin mushrooms inside the vehicle. This traffic stop was a joint operation with the Cleveland Drug Task Force and resulted in the confiscation of $150,000 in cash and 10 pounds of marijuana.
History of the K9 Program
The Kent Police K9 Unit was started in 1987 by Ptl. Don Miller. Ptl. Miller started the program from scratch, without funding from the Police Department. He used his own dog, Duchess, a female German Shepherd. Ptl. Miller trained his dog and she was certified through the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA), and through the State of Ohio, in patrol, which allowed Ptl. Miller to work her on the street. Duchess was trained in the following areas: Obedience, Tracking, Area Search, Building Search, Article/Evidence Search and Criminal Apprehension. Duchess worked from 1987 until November 1991.
After Ptl. Miller and Duchess were certified, Ptl. Karen Travis began working on certifying her dog Gonzo, a male German Shepherd. After 6-7 weeks of training, Gonzo was certified through NAPWDA and the State of Ohio, and went out on patrol with Ptl. Travis. Ptl. Travis was the first female handler in the state of Ohio. Gonzo was trained in the following areas: Obedience, Tracking, Area Search, Building Search, Article/Evidence Search and Criminal Apprehension. Gonzo worked from 1990 until 1995.
Both K9's were well received in the community. The Officers did numerous K9 demonstrations with the dogs. Every year they did a demonstration at the Portage County Fair. During this time, there was a rash of burglaries in surrounding towns (Stow, Tallmadge, and Brimfield). One night, Tallmadge Police Department pursued a burglary suspect vehicle into Kent. The vehicle was stopped by Kent PD, and eventually the occupants were arrested on unrelated charges. While questioning the suspects, they admitted to not wanting to burglarize any houses, or commit any crimes in Kent because "You guys have dogs!"
Ptl. Miller and Ptl. Travis did demonstrations for other Police Departments as well. These demonstrations led to other departments (Ravenna and Mogadore) starting their own K9 program. Due to the success of Ptl. Miller and Duchess and Ptl. Travis and Gonzo, the Kent Police Department decided to fund the K9 Program.
In late 1991, early 1992, the Department conducted a K9 assessment for interested officers and selected Ptl. Rick Haury to be a canine handler. Ptl. Haury was paired up with Roy (pronounced Ro-ee), a Dutch Malinois. Ptl. Haury and Roy trained in Pennsylvania under the watchful eye of Jack Harrigan, a NAPWDA Master Trainer. Ptl. Haury and Roy were trained and certified in patrol through NAPWDA and the State of Ohio. Ptl. Haury and Roy made a great team. They made multiple criminal apprehensions during their career together. The apprehensions came from building searches, tracks and fleeing suspects. Roy was a very driven dog and struck fear into the criminals he encountered. Ptl. Haury and Roy also conducted multiple demonstrations for the Kent community. Roy worked from 1992 until November 1997.
The next handler selected was Ptl. Martin Gilliland. Ptl. Gilliland paired up with Arid, a male German Shepherd imported from Czechoslovakia. Ptl. Gilliland and Arid were trained in Pennsylvania, again with Jack Harrigan. The training lasted seven weeks and the team was eventually certified through NAPWDA and the State of Ohio. Initially Arid was just a patrol dog like the previous K9s. However, Arid excelled in using his nose to locate people. It was decided later to have Arid tested to see if he had the proper drive for narcotics detection. Arid was taken to a trainer in Amherst, Ohio where he was found to have the needed drive for narcotics work. After an additional four weeks of training, in mid 1995, Arid was certified through NAPWDA and the State of Ohio for narcotics detection. Ptl. Gilliland and Arid became the first K9 unit to be dual-purpose, patrol and narcotics. Arid was a tremendous tracking dog, he helped locate multiple suspects and missing people. In March 1996, Arid played an integral part in locating two missing children in Franklin Twp. Arid also had multiple narcotics finds/seizures. On one occasion, Kent PD was called for mutual aid by OSP. A State Trooper made a stop on a vehicle on the Ohio Turnpike and needed a narcotics trained K9 for a vehicle sniff. Arid alerted to the vehicle trunk and a subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a hidden compartment containing $186,000 in cash. Arid worked from 1995 until 2001.
When Ptl. Haury retired Roy in 1997, Ptl. Brand was selected to handle Kent PD's next K9, Gandur, a male German Shepherd from Germany. Ptl. Brand and Gandur were dual purpose trained, in patrol and narcotics. Gandur excelled at scent work, he could detect small amounts of drugs when searching. He was very good at crowd control; protecting officers during fights and disorderly situations, and he was effective at moving crowds away from officers.Ptl. Brand and Gandur did many building searches. Gandur liked children and he and Ptl. Brand did K9 demos at local schools and at the Portage County Fair. Ptl. Brand and Gandur worked for about two years when the K9 had to be retired due to cancer being found in one of his rear legs. Gandur worked from 1997 until March 1999.
After Ptl. Gilliland retired Arid he took on another K9 named Damon, a male German Shepherd from the Czech Republic. Damon was a dual purpose K9 trained in patrol and narcotics. Damon excelled in scent work. He was a tremendous tracker, locating multiple fleeing suspects and missing people. Damon was a very social dog and was in great demand for public demonstrations in area schools. Damon was very protective of Ptl. Gilliland. On one occasion he came to Ptl. Gilliland's aid when a wanted felon began violently resisting arrest. Damon made the physical apprehension of the felon which afforded Ptl. Gilliland the opportunity to take the suspect into custody. Damon worked hard up until he succumbed to cancer in February 2004. Damon touched so many people in a positive way, so much so that the wonderful people at the Memorial Animal Hospital coordinated with many people, specifically the Kent Rotary, to raise enough funds to get another dog. Damon worked from 1999 until February 2004.
Ptl. Gilliland wanted to continue with the program and was given the opportunity to work another dog. Bak was a male German Shepherd from the Czech Republic. Ptl Gilliland and Bak were trained in the Mentor/Painesville area by Master Trainer Jim Watson. Bak was trained in Narcotics Detection and Patrol. After about seven weeks of training, Bak and Ptl. Gilliland were certified through NAPWDA and OPOTA. Unfortunately, Bak only worked for a little more than a year. Bak came down with a rare infection that was caught in its advanced stages killing him at the very young age of 2 1/2 years old. Bak worked from 2004 until 2006.
Ptl. Jacobs and his K9 Codi began training in February of 1999. Their first day on the street was Memorial Day 1999. Codi was an all black male German Shepherd imported from Czechoslovakia. He was a utility dog trained in Tracking, Narcotics, Building/Area Searches, Article Search as well as Apprehensions. While narcotics were Codi's strength, he had success in all areas throughout his career. His biggest drug seizure was 77 Kilos of marijuana on a mutual aid call in Brimfield Township, as a result of a traffic stop. He tracked several Robbery/Burglary suspects and found suspects hiding in buildings and houses resulting in apprehensions. Codi also found key pieces of evidence used to successfully prosecute suspects. Codi was very useful for crowd control during the May 4th riots in 1999 and 2000. He was also effective for crowd control problems outside downtown bars after closing. Codi worked from 1999 until 2008. He passed away in 2010 from heart complications.
Officer Ennemoser was chosen to participate in the K9 program in 2001. His first dog, Jessy, was a female German Shepherd imported from Holland. Jessy and Officer Ennemoser trained for 16 weeks before working the road together in November of 2001. Jessy was certified in Narcotics Detection, Tracking, Building Search, Area Search, Article / Evidence Search and Handler Protection.
During the eight years on the road, Jessy was responsible for numerous drug finds, money seizures, tracking suspects, locating suspects inside buildings and locating articles used in crimes. One drug find was in May of 2008, when the team was called out to the Kent State University airport. Jessy alerted to the presence of narcotics in an airplane that had landed, and 30 Kilo's of Cocaine were located inside the plane.
During one track Jessy, located three suspects who attempted to steal a car at gunpoint. Jessy tracked the suspects for several blocks, locating the suspects inside a house. Jessy was also called out to a scene where a subject had been robbed and stabbed. In the front yard, Jessy located the knife that was used in the stabbing. Later while tracking the suspect, Jessy located the suspect's shirt he had removed as he fled the area. DNA from the suspect's shirt later helped obtain the suspect's conviction. Jessy worked from November 2001 until February 2009, when she retired for medical reasons.
In 2007, a generous donation from the Kent VFW helped offset the expenses of a new dog. Ptl. Gilliland was given another opportunity to handle a dog. Ptl. Gilliland went to Wapakoneta, Ohio to meet with Al Gill, who purchases dogs from Europe and helps train them for police work. Felo was chosen because of his demeanor; he is a very dominate/confident alpha male German Shepherd.
Ptl. Gilliland and Felo completed six weeks of training and were certified through NAPWDA and OPOTA, in 2007. Felo is trained in the following areas: Narcotics Detection, Building Search, Tracking, Area Search, Article/Evidence Search, Criminal Apprehension and Handler Protection. Felo was a great addition to the program. Felo made numerous criminal apprehensions and drug finds since being certified. Felo enjoyed doing demonstrations for the Kent Schools and Community organizations.
Ptl. Gilliland retired on June 29, 2013. By special ordinance passed by City Council, Felo was allowed to retire along with Ptl. Gilliland.He will live out the rest of his life as the Gilliland family dog.