Baltimore City Police K-9 Unit

1AK9
Taken at K9 Training Center

What Came First the Chicken or the Egg... it may not matter but what does matter is in Baltimore Police History what came first was 1914, or 1956 - We know we built America's best K9 unit and system in 1956, what is less known is that in 1914 we started a unit using contract employees, sub-contracted Dogs call them what you want, but we had K9 Dogs based on the following:

FINE SCOUTS THEY SAY--THESE POLICE DOGS

C LEO GIBSON

The Sun (1837-1987); Nov 1, 1914;

pg. A1

Find Scouts They Say – These Police Dogs

Baltimore will test them in lonely suburbs, tales of criminals they have caught in New York.

By C. Leo Gibson

Trained to attack a burger, a murderer or any person against whom a policeman wants protection, two Airedale Terriers are on their way here from the kennels of Major E. H. Richardson, and Grove and, Haro, near London, to do services within the Baltimore Police Department.
Through the success obtained by the Airedale police dogs in other cities, the police board at a recent meeting decided to create a dog squad, the four-footed members of the force being assigned to assist the policeman in the northern and another in the Northwestern District.
In regular police service, the police dogs are said to be invaluable tool patrolman’s post is extensive. Their duties as police stalls include aid in capturing criminals, as well as protective work. As a constant companion of the patrolman the Airedale Terriers are considered good detectives. At a word they will rush like a flash around the house and with their sharp eyes and keen sent track down a burglar or marauder in a jiffy.
When regular police service adults can be put on guard at the door of a house and no one will be permitted to pass in or out. If one is rational to try it, the dog will knock them down and throw his heavy body upon the man’s breast and hold him until the police master comes to take charge of the prisoner.

 

Court New York Gunmen
The New York Police Department has a squad of 16 police dogs. The animals have made a surprising record there, being credited with the capture of many thieves and some notorious criminals. To show the efficiency of these dogs in service there it is recalled that a dog trials and competitions recently held in Van Cortlandt Park to police dogs assisted in capturing of four gunmen who attempted to hold up a citizen.
A policeman was within 100 yards of the scene of a daring hold-up. Blowing his whistle, the officer came to the rescue of the gunman’s victim. Two police dogs that had been on exhibit at the exhibition leaped behind the policeman and in less time than it takes to tell if the animals had thrown the three gunmen to the street, while the other dog, leaping on a taxicab in which the robbers came upon the scene, pulled the forth thief – “The Chauffeur” – from his seat. Without the police dogs it is believed the policeman would have been able to capture only one of the four highwayman, the others escaping while the copper was grappling with his prisoner. (Sure interrogation would have gotten the names of the other 3, but by the time they were apprehended, who knows what crime they may have committed!)
Among the several breeds of dogs that have been trained as police dogs are the Doberman Pinscher, the Rottweiler, and the Airedale Terriers. Some of these types of dogs are not reliable because they are full of the fighting spirit, which diverts them from serious work.

 

Their Great Protectors
Police dogs are, “one master” dogs and, “one purpose” dogs. They inherent the trait to be vigilant, to protect life, and property. Before it was discovered that these breeds were invaluable for police and protective work they were valued for their vigilance in minding sheep, cattle and other pasture animals.
The Airedale Terriers don’t need patting, just a pat of thanks when they perform a service. They are not pets, but service, says Maj. Richardson, who has furnace police dogs to authorities in all countries, as well as to the royal family of Britain the German Kaiser, and Czar of Russia. And for us Marie of Russia, the Queen of Spain, the Quinn of Wartburg, the queen of Sweden, the French Prime Minister and many others, as well as to police departments in this and other countries.

“The dogs,” he says, “must be handled intelligently and disciplined if they are to do good work, and not have everyone petting them or giving them orders.”

It is expected that the police dogs will arrive in Baltimore within a month. The two policemen it will be given the custody of the dogs will care for them at their homes, being amply repaid by the police board for the costs incidental to their maintenance.

 

How They Will Work Here
at 7 o’clock at night each of the patrolman will leave his home accompanied by the police dog and the animal will journey with him around the beat. From then until 4 o’clock in the morning they will patrol the streets, the dog’s mouthing and scaling ahead of the patrolman, making detours around houses, and small streets and alleys, bent on coming across any possible marauders.

Should the police dog discover a suspicious individual it hurries back to the patrolman and the officer investigates. If the four-footed member of the force has found a man who looks suspicious, the patrolman gets busy. If the stranger puts up a struggle, the policeman has a valuable helpmate in the patrol dog.
Maybe it would be well for the man inclined to carry home in the “we small hours” a “bundle of cheer” to use a taxicab, should he live on the post of the patrolman who has a helpmate a police dog. It might cause him some embarrassment to have a police dog suspect him, for the dog can always discriminate between a worthy citizen in a pickled state and a second story man on professional burger and.

It would scarcely be pleasant for the innocent but uncertain citizen going along on one leg to begin front with a big police dog. The “R-r-r-o-w-w-o-f!” My get on his nerves.

 

Subordinate Protector
However, it will give much satisfaction to residents of the outlying sections to know that while they are in the arms of "Morpheus"
a patrolman’s aid, the police dog, is stepping so quietly, running around their homes, that a burglar can’t hear the snout are. It is the police dogs duty to find for the patrolman those who have no business in a neighborhood so they can be questioned and locked up if suspected of being one and ill bent mission. They can find such persons a lot surer then can the patrolman, who cannot be on the job as quick as the dog, because his footsteps might be heard.
Should these four-footed members of the police force get in “
Dutch” with their superiors: should they fail to perform their duty as a real good policeman said, what punishment is to be matted out to them by the commissioners? This is the question Marshall Carter and Deputy Marshal House ask yesterday: “the dog policeman being official members of the force, but not human citizens responsible for their acts, what will we do if it is necessary to preferred charges against them?”

At any rate, the police board feels that the police dogs will be a real and invaluable service to the department. If they are found to be of value to the force, as they have been to other cities, it is likely that the squad will be augmented. It is pointed out that in the suburban sections of the city great need is felt for more policeman. The dogs, which cost $51 each, will, it is hoped, help fill the much-needed gap in the service until the next legislature meets when the Gen. assembly possibly will increase the force by not less than 100 patrolman


1914-1916 -
"Luxe" and "Morpheus" Baltimore’s first K9 dogs - A little known fact, while not an official unit, Baltimore had two Police Dogs at their call when two Airedale Terriers from London came to enroll as members of the Police Force. Their owners learned two dogs were already here, privately owned, one belonging to Mr. Jere Wheelright, and the other to Dr. Henry Barton Jacobs. “Luxe”, Mr Wheelright's dog was a superb example of a highly trained equine aristocrat, big, powerful and intelligent to a degree that was truly remarkable.  It would be 42 years before we would have an official K9 Unit, but off and on since 1914, we had, had Police Dogs used in both a private, and official capacity. But not until 1956 did we establish an official unit, with an official methodology that would go on to become world known as the best K9 unit.

Add to this 1948 - Socolow McGee - 18 Dec 1948 McGee as this dog was known, was killed in the line of duty, while patrollinging the Central District, he was struck by a car, that car rushed him to an emergency Veterinarian Hospital where he was pronouced dead. This based on the following Sun Paper Article dated 19 Dec 1948

K9 Dogs Lost in the Line of Duty

1948 - 18 December 1948 - We lost fellow officer K9 Dog Socolow McGee 
1971 - June 1971 - We lost fellow officer K9 Dog Shane 
1972 - 23 April 1972 - We lost fellow officer K9 Dog Duke 
1982 - 12 July 1982 - We lost fellow officer K9 Dog Sultan

Dog Policeman Killed in Duty
The Sun (1837-1987); Dec 19, 1948;
pg. 26

 

Dog Policeman Killed in Duty

Four – Footed volunteer struck by a car while on his beat
Funeral services for Patrolman Socolow McGee, who was killed yesterday 18 December 1948 in the line of duty, will be held tomorrow morning at the Oakley Cemetery, in the 8400 block of Oakley Road.
Patrolman McGee, a dog adopted by central district police two years ago, was struck and killed by an automobile at Baltimore and Front streets yesterday afternoon while he was patrolling his regular beat.
According to Patrolman William Hogan and Halley Schreibe, Patrolman McGee was following them along Baltimore Street and he was struck by a car as he crossed Front Street. The motorist took the Patrolman to a veterinarian’s office in the 100 block of S. High St., where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Usual Schedule on Beat

It was according to police, a bit unusual for Patrolman McGee to be on duty during the daytime, his normal shift being from 8 PM until 8 AM. For ever since he was adopted by the central district, he would report in at 8 PM trot around his beat – bounded by Baltimore Street, and Fallsway, Asquith and Hillen streets – check back in the station at midnight and go back out until 8 AM After learning of his death last night, businessmen along the beat made the arrangements for the funeral. The pallbearers have not yet been announced
After this we lost three more dogs, Two in the 1970's and one in the 1980's what follows are the newspaper articles from the 1972 and 1982 Sun Paper reports

 1959 K9 Unit72
Courtesy Mark Frank
Great 1950's K9 unit new grounds

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Memorial Plaque Present

Baltimore police newsletter
August 1971

 

On August 16, at the monthly meeting of the K-9 law enforcement Association, Officer. David Stuller of the tactical section K-9 unit was presented with a plaque to commemorate the loss of his dog, Shane, who died in the line of duty in June 1971.

 

The plaque was presented by Commissioner Donald D. Pomerleau and Association President Paul Mossberg of the Frederick City Police Department at the meeting which was held at the Stafford Hotel. The presentation was also attended by Deputy Commissioner Frank J. Battaglia, Lt. Col. Donald T. Shanahan, Capt. Francis X. Hayes and Lieut. Horace M. Lowman.


K-9 Dog Plunges to Death

MICHAEL K BURNS
The Sun (1837-1987); Apr 24, 1972;
pg. A8

 

K-9 Dog Plunges to Death

 

A city police K-9 unit dog plunged to his death from the sixth floor roof of a downtown department store while his master was investigating a store burglary yesterday morning. Patrolman Samuel Spalla said his dog Duke preceded him out the door to the roof and Jumped over the parapet of the Hochschild-Kohn store when the policeman called him to come back. John B. Starnes, 71, the store watchmen, had called police after he chased a burglar upstairs from the first floor watch shop about 10:45 AM Mr. Starnes said the watch case had been forced open and several items scattered on the floor. He had no estimate of the value of the items taken. Police said the door leading from the employees’ lounge to the roof had been forced and that the burglar apparently escaped through the door and down the fire escape to an alley

 


Tear Gas Ends 23-Hour Standoff
Rafael Alvarez
The Sun (1837-1987); Jul 13, 1982;
pg. D1


Tear gas ends 23-hour standoff
34-year-old man who barricaded himself for 23 hours in a West Baltimore row house and apparently killed a police dog sent in after him surrendered to police last night after officers shot tear gas cartridges into the residence. The man came out at about 8:30 PM 15 minutes after police issued an ultimatum. Dennis S. Hill a departmental spokesman said the man carried a 32 caliber handgun, but pointed at the ground and was not threatening when the siege ended. He was handcuffed by police and taken to bond secure hospital for observation. The man had made no demands and police originally planned to wait until he came out by his own choice. Families evacuated from adjoining houses wanted to return to their homes, however, and police decided to end the standoff “because it had become a neighborhood problem,” Mr. Hill said, “We decided that it would be in the best interest of everyone if he came out,” the spokesman said. About 1:30 PM yesterday, two K-9 officers broke down the front door of the house in the first block north through street and sent into German shepherds. The door apparently had been nailed shut. One of the dogs, Sultan, ran into the first floor kitchen and was shot in the neck with a 12gauge shotgun. The animal was rushed to a veterinarian’s office where he had died. A shotgun was found in the house after the barricaded man came out. No charges have been filed last night, Mr. Hill said. The house, occupied by the man’s father, was broken into about 9:30 PM Sunday. The father, who apparently was the only person there, left soon afterward. The man’s father and a psychiatrist yesterday repeatedly tried to talk to the man, through both bullhorns and the telephone, but received no response. Usable warns, police officers told the man about 8:15 PM that they would fire tear gas into the house if he did not come out in 15 minutes. He did not, and the dart size cartridges called “ferrets” were fired through the windows. About seven minutes later, he emerged to the front door.

Except for the shooting, the scene around the barricaded house was calm most of yesterday. Children raced in front of the television cameras, 10 speed bicycles passed through the crowd being held back by police cordons, and a snowball stand a half block away did brisk business. About 100 neighborhood residents watched the house from the front steps of nearby houses.

KSCN0051i72Courtesy Mark Frank
"Fritz"

Fritz Sets Out to be Policeman's Best Friend

Milford Prewitt

The Sun (1837-1987); Jul 16, 1983;

pg. C1

Fritz Sets Out to be Policeman's Best Friend

One year ago, city police officer Vernon and Holly buried his partner, a German Shepherd name Sultan, who was killed while working in West Baltimore yesterday, the officer formerly teamed up with a new partner, a two-year-old, 95 – pound dog named Fritz, during a graduation ceremony in Druid Hill Park. He was one of seven officers – two from North Carolina, one from Anne Arundel County and four from the city – who completed a 14 week session with their dogs at the city’s canine training grounds in Curtis Bay. The event also was used to unveil the departments first attempt at maintaining a permanent police presence in the park; a new headquarters for the 50 member K-9 unit. The $200,000 facility, located near the children’s zoo, was prized by some community leaders who attended the ceremony as a sign that the city is trying to make the park safer. The one-story brick building featured spacious air-conditioned candles for nine police dogs at a time. Of those will leave their dogs at the kennels when appearing in court or writing reports. Except for mandatory rollcall appearances, officer Holly and Fritz will not spend much time together in the new building. The team officially begins its patrol Monday. Officer Holly said he was looking forward to working with Fritz, he said he wanted to be careful not to compare him to his previous partner Sultan “every day I remind myself not to compare dogs” officer Holly said, “it’s like an omen to ask this dog to fill the shoes of another it’s unfair. “You don’t want to compare, but you do want to make sure that he’s better. It’s like a father with one child; you want him to have everything you didn’t.” Sultan died from a gunshot blast last July, after officers broke down the door of a West Baltimore row house where an armed, mentally disturbed man had barricaded himself in held police at bay for 23 hours. Sultan confronted the man inside the kitchen and was wounded in the neck. He died a short time later the veterinarian’s office. Officer Holly said that although his new partner is trained to sniff out drugs in explosives and search buildings, Fritz seem to have a certain aptitude for two other activities for which he was not trained. “He’s a freak for catching frisbees and tug-of-war games,” Ofc. Holly said, smiling while his six-year-old son, Vernon Junior, playfully demonstrated Fritz’s tenacious refusal to release a Longstick from his mouth. Despite some powerful seemingly tooth jarring pools from young Vernon, Fritz held on easily and even appeared disappointed when the youngster tired of playing. As in most police departments, Baltimore police dogs go home with the officers and assume a second role as a family pet, who, like their masters, work for the city. Let the police horses and other dogs the department has, Fritz was donated. His former master, Teresa likens, a Perry Hall, said her family was too busy to give the animal the attention it deserved. She said she decided to give him to the department when she heard the police could use good animals. As yesterday’s ceremonies, police Commissioner Frank J Battaglia said building the K-9 “many police district” in Druid to a Hill Park will make the park safer and more attractive for families. Judy Morris, head of friends of Druid Park, who was attending the ceremony with her children, said the city’s decision to put a permanent K-9 police station in the park was the first step in a long range plan to improve the image and condition of Druid Hill Park. “We’ve been working with the police department a long time to upgrade the park, “Mrs. Morris said, “I definitely think more families will come over here now, and it’s a nice way to introduce kids to the police.”


James Pate K-9 1962
Courtesy JoAnn Oliphant Voelker
1964 K9 Unit with Officer 
James Pate

KSCN0015-SM

Sunpaper Pic

KSCN0019-SM
Sunpaper pic
 

Baltimore's Oldest Police K9 Dies

December 21, 2006

Baltimore, MD

There is sad news from the Baltimore Police Department, as the oldest veteran of its renowned k-9 unit has died. Reno was 14, and served 11 years as Officer Jerry Turpin's partner, before failing hips, caused him to be put down. With tears in his eyes, Turpin, a 26-year veteran of the force, says "I've lost my best friend. Nobody will ever know what goes on between an officer and his dog." Reno and Jerry hit the streets in 1996 and were inseparable until Reno was injured in the line of duty. In 2005 Reno fell through a window while in pursuit of a suspect which lead to his retirement as a result of the injuries. Reno's sister Imka has become Jerry's new partner. There are 28 canines on the city police force which, celebrated its 50th anniversary March2006
Police badge k9

The Canine (K-9) Corps

Of the Baltimore Police Department
By: Inspector Leo T. Kelly November 1959
EDITOR'S NOTE 

There are many who feel that the use of dogs on patrol merits serious consideration by Police Departments everywhere. In this revealing article, Inspector Kelly points the way with basic information concerning the formation, administration and use of this new police unit. In addition, in a letter to the Editor, he states, "Since the innovation of the Canine (K-9) Corps in this Department, we have found that the use of trained dogs properly controlled by experienced police officers has undoubtedly been an excellent deterrent, particularly when they are assigned to those areas of the city where the records show crime to be most prevalent. We have also found that trained dogs are particularly effective for apprehending offenders fleeing from the scene of a crime; detecting burglars in operation; dispersing disorderly crowds; appearing at the scene where an officer may be having trouble with a prisoner; trailing and detecting wanted persons hidden in wooded and suburban areas, particularly at night, and for other uses.

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Tuefel

Baltimores 1st K9 Unit
Our 1st K9 Dog was a 2 yr old Black and Silver, German Sheppard, named "Turk" he was handled by Patrolman Thomas McGinn. Our number 2 dog was also a German Sheppard his name was "Major Von-Gruntz" they called him "Major" for short. Major was handled and trained by Patrolman Irvan Marders. Baltimore became the first K9 in the country to train the way we do. A system that would come to be known as the "Baltimore Method". After Turk and Major we had several other dogs, Major II, Reds, Mark, Wolf, Duke 2, Major I, Sergeant, Kevin, Quickstep, Rusty and Duke. Each of these dogs were donated to the squad by Marylanders anxious to see the experimental program a success. All were pedigreed and were registered with the American Kennel Club. At the conclusion of their training, they will be "command" dogs, capable of attacking on command, releasing on command, watching and guarding prisoners on command, trailing and tracking suspects, or disarming and downing thieves and or assailants on command. Baltimore went on to become the first Federally Certified K-9 training center in the country, by 1982 they had already trained over 70 cities, and 20 countries in the proper use of the K-9

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Dear Sir:

In response to your letter appertaining to the use of police dogs in law enforcement agencies, I am forwarding information which I am hopeful will answer your inquiry satisfactorily. Since the innovation of the Canine (K-9) Corps in this department, we have found that the use of trained dogs properly controlled by experienced police officers have undoubtedly been an excellent deterrent, particularly when they are assigned to those areas of the city where crime appears to be most prevalent. We find it most difficult to furnish any measurable or accurate statistics at this time which would indicate what effect the use of our 40 trained police dogs (covering an area of 92 square miles and a population of approximately 1,000,000 inhabitants) has had on the crime situation here. However, we are definitely convinced that the psychological effect surrounding the appearance of an officer with a dog on patrol has been of invaluable assistance. The reaction of both the public and the press has been overly responsive in favoring the use of trained dogs for discouraging both the would be offenders from going astray of the law, and in apprehending those responsible for criminal acts.

 

The members of the K-9 Corps have for some time been demonstrating their training techniques and the procedure effecting the use of their dogs in the field, and the requests we are presently receiving from various civic and fraternal organizations, clubs, and other group associations desirous o£ viewing these exhibitions, are becoming so numerous that we find it impossible to comply with all of them. We have found that trained dogs are particularly effective for apprehending perpetrators of criminal acts fleeing from the scene of a crime; detecting burglars secreted in large industrial plants and warehouses, etc.; dispersing disorderly crowds; appearing at the scene where an officer may be having trouble with a prisoner; trailing and detecting wanted persons hidden in wooded and suburban·areas, particularly at night. We plan to add additional police officers and dogs to this unit in due course of time. In addition, I have enclosed a prepared informative article which explains both the inception and operating procedures of the K9 Corps.

w-enc.

 

Sincerely yours,

Leo T. Kelly,

Inspector

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Miller 2

KSCN0045

 

BALTIMORE

CANINE (K-9) CORPS

BALTIMORE CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

 

1. Inception

On Tuesday, December 11, 1956, an article was published in one of our local newspapers which was one of a series of articles written by one Martin Millspaugh pertaining to Scotland Yard. This article,. the last of a series, was devoted to the use of police dogs in London. As a result of the letters and inquiries received by Commissioner James M. Hepbron, an article appeared in the Morning Sun on December 17, 1956 which briefly stated that Commissioner Hepbron was interested and saw the possibilities of using dogs in the Baltimore City Police Department. On December 18, 1956, two dogs that had had previous training were offered to the Baltimore City Police Department and, with two officers also with previous dog experience, the program was put into effect on an experimental basis. By the middle of January 1957, fourteen dogs had been acquired as potential candidates and fourteen men were selected and assigned to the K~9 Corps. These men were chosen as a result of a quest1.onnaire which was sent to all members of the department asking for volunteers. These men and dogs were trained daily until March 1, 1957. At that time, they were put on the street on Friday and Saturday nights, working the areas where crime was most prevalent. Shortly after this, actually on April 17, 1957~ Commissioner Hepbron, considering the experiment a success, went before the Mayor and City Council and appropriations were made through the Board of Estimates which resulted in the K-9 Corps becoming a permanent part of the Baltimore City Police.

II. Administration

The administration of the Canine CK-9) Corps is under the direction of an Inspector of Police. A Lieutenant has been placed in command of the unit, and he has a civilian trainer assigned to him whose sole responsibility is the training of the officers and the dogs. There are also 2 sergeants assigned to the K-9 Corps who assist in the training program. These sergeants also monitor the activity of the K9 patrol force in the field under the direction of their commanding officer. These sergeants were selected on the basis of their qualifications, and previous knowledge and experience in training and handling dogs. The balance of the organization at present consists of 30 officers (patrolmen), a clerk and 40 dogs. 

III. Method of Selection Officers

It must be kept in mind that an officer to work with a dog must want to do so - he cannot be forced into the job as his reactions to his work reflects in the animal. All officers, therefore, must volunteer, From this list they are carefully screened and selected. First, they must meet certain requirements;

(a) They must live in their own home. This home must have adequate ground or a yard to house and care for a dog,
(b) The Officers wife and family must be investigated from a standpoint of willingness and approval.
(c) They must have available an automobile to use at all times.
(d) Their personnel record with the department must be good.
(e) Sufficient practical police experience or knowledge before being assigned to unit.

IV. Cost

The cost of the K-9 Corps consists of the salary of the personnel assigned to the unit plus an estimated figure of $200 per year per dog. (This latter figure is based on the cost of food, equipment and veterinary charges).

V. Procurement or Dogs
All dogs have been donated outright to the department for use in police work. They must be German Shepherd Dogs (male) sound of body, physically fit and of good even temperament • neither vicious nor shy, and preferably under 3 years of age.

VI. Kennel
No kennel facilities are provided. Each dog is assigned to an officer and from that point on lives with him at his home. The fact that the dog is with the officer constantly not only provides a closer bond of relationship between man and dog, but it also eliminates the necessity of the erection of expensive kennels and the personnel to staff same.

VII. Food

Food is purchased by the department and distributed to the individual officer as required. This food consists of a kennel biscuit and canned horse meat or beef.

VIII. Training

Bach officer is taught to train his own dog. The dog is first trained in basic obedience, and tested for gun shyness. Next, attack work and then trailing (location of lost persons or criminals.)· Finally, the dog is trained to locate articles or materials that could be used as evidence, (It is extremely important in the attack training that the dog attacks only on command of his handler and releases immediately when told).

IX. Operation

Members of the K-9 Corps are assigned to the Headquarters Roster and they are available for use anywhere in the City. This unit operates on a three shift basis Shifts #1 and #3 work concurrently between the hours of 6 PM and 2 AM Shift #2 works the hours of 8 AM to 4 PM. This results in an officer working two weeks of night work followed by one week of day work. There is also a small force operating on the streets in radio cars between the hours of 1 AM and 9 AM  During the day shift the training of the men and dogs is intensified and developed. All men on the7 day shift are on a standby basis for emergencies, but, by the rotation method, a small force operates in radio equipped vehicles and occasionally on foot, on the street during the daylight hours. (It is important that both officers and dogs continue in their training to keep up their effectiveness and to increase their ability). Officers of the Corps ·and their dogs are assigned to sections of the City where crime is most prevalent. They replace manpower due to the fact that additional officers need not be assigned to these areas. The actual area in which the dog is to operate is given to each District Commander via teletype on Monday of each week so that he can utilize the assignment of extra men to areas other than those covered by dogs. Primarily, a dog and officer work on foot and are assigned two posts instead of one. These dogs are always worked on leash and only released when actually necessary to apprehend a criminal. However, 4 radio patrol cars are utilized - one being the Monitor Sergeant. The dogs ride in the cars with these officers and, being mobile, are very effective in taking calls anywhere in the City. 

X. Types of Calls Handled by the K-9 Corps

Possibly the greatest value of police dogs lies in their mere presence on the street. The psychological effect has been tremendous and their deterrent effect on crime cannot be measured. Primarily they are assigned to areas where assaults; purse snatchings and yokings (muggings) are most prevalent. However, the dogs are very effective in dispersing and controlling crowds, in searching buildings, in assisting with arrests and the actual apprehension of criminals. They are also detailed (during visiting hours) in the vicinity of our hospitals as a preventive measure against purse snatchings and assaults, etc. Their function is not to replace the Post Officer, but to work in conjunction with him, keeping in mind that their effectiveness is greatest on the public streets and in the city parks.  

XI. Public Exhibitions

Upon requests, the members of the Corps demonstrate the use of their trained dogs at both private and public functions throughout the city, and the adjacent counties. These exhibitions are most interesting and the requests have become so numerous that we find it impossible to comply with all of them. We have established excellent public relations through these.

XII. Summary

As of this date, the Baltimore City Police Department is utilizing the services of 40 trained dogs. At the present time, we have 18 officers and dogs patrolling the streets of Baltimore on foot each nightin addition there are 4 radio patrol cars each with officer and dog. The Canine (K-9) Corps occupies a building formerly used as a Police Station. The detention cells in this building are occasionally used for housing our dogs. The building is spacious and contains ample space for expansion. Much of the training during incleaent weather takes place in the basement of this building. There is also an out-of-doors fenced in training area which is situated in one of our city parks within close proximity to our present quarters. The general public has accepted this program wholeheartedly and the press has been most cooperative. The entire program has had the desired effect, and that possibly can be summed up in this brief statement - "You can argue with a Police Officer, but you cannot argue with his dog."

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XenaCourtesy Shirley Disney
K-9 Xena
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Patrolman Leo Smith

My uncle Leo Smith came onto the department in 1960 and was a member of the K9 untit from approximetly 1962 until 1969/70. He had two dogs"Rusty" and "Prince" Ret Officer Smith carries a picture of them in his wallet to this day. Rusty retired, and went to live with him and his family, Prince was a bit aggressive and ended up going to the military, and doing a couple tours in Vietnam. He said working K9 was a great unit, and when you get a good dog, he becomes a part of your family.
Rusty Prince 72                              

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1956
- We plan to add additional police officers and dogs to this unit in due course of time." ON Tuesday, December 11, 1956, an article was published in one of our local newspapers which was one of a series of articles written by one Martin Millspaugh pertaining to Scotland Yard. This article, the last of a series, was devoted to the use of police dogs in London. As a result of the letters and inquiries received by Commissioner James M. Hepbron, an article appeared in the Morning Sun on December 17, 1956 which briefly stated that Commissioner Hepbron was interested and saw the possibilities of using dogs in the Baltimore City Police Department. On December 18, 1956, two dogs that had had previous training were offered to the Baltimore City Police Department and, with two officers also with previous dog experience, the program was put into effect on an experimental basis.

1957 - By the middle of January 1957, fourteen dogs had been acquired as potential candidates and fourteen men were selected and assigned to the K-9 Corps. These men were chosen as a result of a questionnaire which was sent to all members of the department asking for volunteers. These men and dogs were trained daily until March 1, 1957. At that time, they were put on the street on, Friday and Saturday nights, working the areas where crime was most prevalent. Shortly after this, actually on April 17, 1957, Commissioner Hepbron, considering the experiment a success, went before the Mayor and City Council and appropriations were made through the Board of Estimates which resulted in the K-9 Corps becoming a permanent part of the Baltimore City Police Department.

ADMINISTRATION: The administration of the Canine (K-9) Corps is under the direction of an Inspector of Police. A Lieutenant has been placed in command of the unit, and he has a civilian trainer assigned to him whose sole responsibility is the training of the officers and the dogs. There are also 3 sergeants assigned to the K-9 Corps who assist in the training program. These sergeants also monitor the activity of the K-9 patrol force in the field under the direction of their commanding officer. These sergeants were selected on the basis of their qualifications, and previous knowledge' and experience in training and handling dogs. The balance of the organization at present consists of 30 officers (patrolmen), a clerk and 40 dogs.

Hepbron Ponders Dog Use.
Head Of Force Interested In Possibilities Here

Dec 17, 1956
James M Hepbron police Commissioner, showed definite interest yesterday in the possibility of using police dogs in Baltimore.
The police commissioner said many persons had written to him, suggesting the use of canine aid for foot patrolman to help curb purse snatchings street attacks and other forms of crime now on the increase. Powers supplemented.
The suggestion was in the line with the newspaper article reporting on the affected miss on police dogs used by Metropolitan police in London use of dogs here would help the Baltimore Police Department at a time of severe manpower shortage.
The animals are trained to bring down possible criminals without serious harm, and their keen sense of smell and hearing supplement the beat policeman's powers of detection.
Some 272 dogs currently are used by the London police.
We are always interested in anything to improve policing the commissioner said, and the use of dogs looks as it has possibilities.
He said the department is planning to investigate what type of neighborhoods, the dogs work best in and to gather details about the training, financing, and other matters involved. Speaking theoretically he said the current shortage of space at district police stations would be a problem. So the dogs be brought in on a trial basis.
Northern police station. He said is the only one which might have room for dog kennel facilities to accommodate even the experimental pair of dogs. The commissioner said the suggestions on using dogs were among the more practical of the many the department had received others have advocated the use of bicycles, motor scooters and such vehicles

New Post Of Police Dogs Bureau Director Approved.
May 2, 1957
The Board of estimates yesterday gave its approval to a new job in the police department. The directorship of the police dog Bureau the position set up by the city service commission April 25 pace $8170 a year. The board. Two weeks ago granted the Police Department request to date canine dogs Corp., a permanent part of the police force James M heparin police commissioner said the 14 dog Corp., which up to that time had been an experimental were very of effective both from a psychological angle and on a prevention of crime and in the actual apprehension of criminals.

METHOD OF SELECTING OFFICERS:

It must be kept in mind that an officer to work with a dog must want to do so-he cannot be forced into the job as his reactions to his work reflects in the animal. All officers, therefore, must volunteer. From this list they are carefully screened and selected. First, they must meet certain requirements:
(a) They must live in their own home. This home must have adequate ground or a yard to house and care for a dog.

(b) The officer's wife and family must be investigated from the stand point of willingness and approval.

(c) They must have available an automobile to use at all times.

(d) Their personnel record with the department must be good.

(e) Sufficient practical police experience or knowledge before being assigned to unit.

The cost of the K-9 Corps consists of the salary of the personnel assigned to the unit plus an estimated" figure of $200 per year per dog. (This latter figure is based on the cost of food, equipment and veterinary charges.) All dogs have been donated outright to the department for use in police work. They must be German Shepherd dogs (male) sound of body, physically fit and of good even temperament-neither vicious nor shy, and preferably under 3 years of age. No kennel facilities are provided. Each dog is assigned to an officer and from that point on lives with him at his home. The fact that the dog is with the officer constantly not only provides a closer bond of relationship between man and dog, but it also eliminates the necessity of the erection of expensive kennels and the personnel to staff same. Food is purchased by the department and distributed to the individual officer as required. This food consists of a kennel biscuit and canned horse meat or beef. Each officer is taught to train his own dog. The dog is first trained, in basic obedience, and tested for gun shyness. Next, attack work and then trailing (location of lost persons or criminals). Finally, the dog is trained to locate articles or materials that could be used as evidence. (It is extremely important in the attack training that the dog attacks only on command of his handler and releases immediately when told.)

OPERATION:

Members of the K-9 Corps are assigned to the Headquarters Roster and they are available for use anywhere in the city. This unit operates on a three shift basis. Shifts No.1 and No.3 work concurrently between the hours of 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. Shift No.2 works the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This results in an officer working two weeks of night work followed by one week of day work. There is also a small force operating on the streets in radio cars between the hours of 1 a.m. and 9 a.m. During the day shift the training of the men and dogs is intensified and developed. All men on the day shift are on a standby basis for emergencies, but, by the rotation method, a small force operates in radio equipped vehicles and occasionally on foot, on the street during the daylight hours. (It is important that both officers and dogs continue in their training to keep up their effectiveness and to increase their ability.) Officers of the Corps and their dogs are assigned to sections of the city where crime is most prevalent. They replace manpower due to the fact that additional officers need not be assigned to these areas. The actual area in which the dog is to operate is given to each District Commander via teletype on Monday of each week so that he can utilize the assignment of extra men to areas other than those covered by dogs. Primarily, a dog and officer work on foot and are assigned two posts instead of one. These dogs are always worked on leash and only released when actually necessary to apprehend a criminal. However, 4 radio patrol cars are utilized-one being the Monitor Sergeant. The dogs ride in the cars with these officers and, being mobile, are very effective in taking calls anywhere in the city.

TYPES OF CALLS HANDLED BY THE K-9 CORPS:

Possibly the greatest value of police dogs lies in their mere presence on the street. The psychological effect has been tremendous and their deterrent effect on crime cannot be measured. Primarily they are assigned to areas where assaults, purse snatchings and yokings (muggings) are most prevalent. However, the dogs are very effective in dispersing and controlling crowds, in searching buildings, in assisting with arrests and the actual apprehension of criminals. They are also detailed (during visiting hours) in the vicinity of our hospitals as a preventive measure against purse snatchings and assaults, etc. Their function is not to replace the Post Officer, but to work in conjunction with him, keeping in mind that their effectiveness is greatest on the public streets and in the city parks.

PUBLIC EXHIBITIONS:

Upon requests, the members of the Corps demonstrate the use of their trained dogs at both private and public functions throughout the city, and the adjacent counties. These exhibitions are most interesting and the requests have become so numerous that we find it impossible to comply with all of them. We have established excellent public relations through these demonstrations.

SUMMARY:

As of this date, the Baltimore City Police Department is utilizing the services of 40 trained dogs. At the present time, we have 18 officers and dogs patrolling the streets of Baltimore on foot each night, in addition there are 4 radio patrol cars each with officer and dog. The Canine (K-9) Corps occupies a building formerly used as a Police Station. The detention cells in this building are occasionally used for housing our dogs. The building is spacious and contains ample space for expansion. Much of the training during inclement weather takes place in the basement of this building. There is also an out-of-doors fenced in training area which is situated in one of our city parks within close proximity to our present quarters. The general public has accepted this program wholeheartedly and the press has been most cooperative. The entire program has had the desired effect, and that possibly can be summed up in this brief statement-"You can argue with a Police Officer, but you cannot argue with his dog."

ACTIVITIES OF THE K-9 CORPS-YEAR 1958:

ARRESTS

Assault and Robbery................................................4 Cases.

Assault........................................................................56 Cases

Larceny.......................................................................21 Cases

Disturbing the Peace...............................................18 Cases

Drunk on the Street.................................................28 Cases

Deadly Weapons......................................................17 Cases

Trespassing.......................................... …………......1 Case

Vagrancy .....................................................................8 Cases

Indecent Exposure....................................................5 Cases

Burglary......................................................................18 Cases

Tampering 'With Automobiles.........………............1 Case

Cruelty to Animals....................................................15 Cases

Disorderly Conduct...............................................275 Cases

Purse Snatch...............................................................2 Cases

Escapees From Penal Institution......…………….6 Cases

Total.........................................................475 Cases

Radio Cars of the K-9 Corps responded to 2404 calls

PLACES SEARCHED BY MEMBERS OF THE K-9 CORPS

Buildings searched..........……....................240

Wooded areas searched.....………………....7

Ships searched.................................................1

Total……………………………….................248

DEMONSTRATIONS BY MEMBERS OF THE K-9 CORPS

Television Shows....................................................3

Service Clubs and Patriotic Organizations....24

Schools......................................................................8

Cub Scouts.............................................................38

Total………………………………..........................73

 

The present K9 Unit is a sub-unit of the Tactical Section of the Patrol Division.

The Baltimore Cainine Training Unit is a Federally certified training center. It has assisted in the training of Canine Units for 35 American Police Departments or Federal agencies and police departments from 20 other countries. Many of the dogs trained here have achived the American Kennel Club's Champion Dog Certificate and/or Tracking Degree. The K-9 Unit has almost a 50 year history, provided excellent service to the citizens of Baltimore and has been an intergral and indispensable part of the Patrol Division.

The new Druid Hill Park Canine Facility was Dedicated on January 28,1983.

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Original K-9 emblem from the inception of the unit in 1956
Certified Pedigree 72
K9 MD Seal

Training K-9 dogs in Baltimore 1956
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Courtesy Bernie Lowry
Bernie Lowry
Bernie Lowry with Jako
k9-1.jpgHow to Use Dogs Effectively in
Modern Police Work

by Irvin E. Marders

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LEFT TO RIGHT: SGT. KERBE, LT. BEMILLER,

SGT. IRVIN MARDERS & K-9 "VICTOR"

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K9 work dog family
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OFFICER IRVIN MARDERS IN 1956

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TRAINING THE K-9 TO RESPOND TO AN ARMED PERSON AND PROTECT THE OFFICER

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OFFICER HUGH MILLS far left.

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BALTIMORE POLICE COMMISSIONER JAMES HEPBURN

OFFICER IRVIN MARDERS WITH THE 1ST. K-9

MAJOR VON GRUNTS, BALTIMORE'S 1ST K-9 DOG

K-9 UNIT ESTABLISHED 1956

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Services set for Irvin E. Marders, Police Veteran

 

The Sun (1837-1987); Aug 3, 1986;

 

pg. 37

 

Service is Set for Ret. Sgt. Irvin E. Marders, Police Veteran

 

Funeral services for Ret. Sgt. Irvin E. Marders, a retired Police Department Sgt. who helped organize the city’s canine corpse, will be at 11:30 AM tomorrow at Dulaney Valley Memorial gardens, 200 Padonia Rd.

 

A graveside service will follow at 2 PM at the Arlington national Cemetery in Virginia.

 

Ret. Sgt Marders died Thursday after he suffered a heart attack at his home on Walnut Avenue in Owings Mills. He was 65.

 

Called ace by his friends, Ret. Sgt. Marder was widely known for his work over the years in Veterans Affairs.

 

His most recent project was the establishment of a fallen hero’s day, which was observed for the first time in May, to honor fallen members of the Police and Fire Departments.

 

With the rank of first Sgt., he served in 1942 to 1946 in the South Pacific with the Army engineers, 32nd division. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

 

While in the Army he was graduated as a dog trainer from the San Carlo center in California. He later received certification from the Maryland police training commission, qualifying him to teach canine procedures.

 

He joined the Baltimore Police Department in 1947 and was a member of the force for 28 years, as one of the organizers of the K-9 unit in 1956, he was master handler of Major, one of its first two K9 Dogs along with Major Von Grunts, was Turk the two were the first two dogs to serve as K( for the city of Baltimore. When he retired there were 86 dogs in Baltimore's K-9 force, a force that was listed as the best in the country.

Ret. Sgt. Marder wrote the book on K9 Handling, literally, he wrote a book called, "How to use dogs effectivly in Modern Police Work" a book that not only sold well, but became the go to book in law enforcement, and is of this day almost imporssible t find a copy, those that have them are holding them and those that are selling want top dollar.

 

Ret. Sgt. Marders was commander of the Baltimore police post of the veterans of foreign wars in 1954 and 1955. He served as the state commander in 1960 and 1961.

 

Ret. Sgt. Marders, a member of the disabled American veterans in Towson, had been the Davis legislative representative in Annapolis and at the time of his death was judge advocate of the organization. He was also a member of the American Legion, post 116.

 

He had attended law enforcement classes at Northwestern University, he was a member of the national police bloodhound Association.

 

Ret. Sgt. Marders was active in the Maryland state law enforcement officers Association; the fraternal order of police Lodge number three; the Sons of Confederate veterans; the veterans Association of the 32nd division in Wisconsin in the international police Association, region 16, and Towson.

 

For many years Ret. Sgt. Marders lobbied for state funding of grave liners for burial plots for veterans, a measure which legislation finally passed this year.

 

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, the former Catherine HUD Berg; his mother, Lillian Gephardt; a brother, Earl T. Marders; a daughter, Jay. Lynn Galardi; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. All are of Baltimore.


Miller K9 ad
Robert A Miller w/ Tuefel
Officer Miller with Buddy
Officer Miller w/ Buddy

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July 12, 1957 Sergeant Wilbert Sudmeier (far right.)

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OFFICERS & K-9's at ROLL CALL LATE1950's

The Baltimore Police Department, possessed one of the largest canine units in the United States and were experimenting with a new method of training that came to known as the Baltimore Method”. The “New Method” of training dictated that the canines be sociable, allowed to be in and around the general public, and reside in the handlers residence. Most canines up to this point were extremely aggressive and kenneled when not in use. The Baltimore method, is still one of the most prevalent training methods in the United States. 

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Photo courtesy Cindy Stickline-Rose
K9 wagon used by Officer William Stickline on patrol

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Photo courtesy Cindy Stickline-Rose

Officer William Stickline and 'Serga' in training, they are 5th from the front
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Photo courtesy Cindy Stickline-Rose

Officer William Stickline and his first police dog, "Serga", relaxing at home after a long day searching for wanted criminals

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Photo courtesy Cindy Stickline-Rose

Officer William Stickline with his wife, Fay, daughter Joyce, son Ed, and Serga.

Mrs. Stickline is pregnant with another child at this time, another daughter named Cindy.

Cindy as she grew up became very attached to both dogs her father had while serving in the K9 unit. This shows just how a K9 dog becomes a member of the officer’s family

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ARTICLE ON BALTIMORE’S K-9 UNIT

FEATURED IN THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 1950’s

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K9 Dont pet me I am Working
LUNCH BOX EMBOSSs
This was made in Photoshop for Bill Hackley a few years back
K9 callingCourtesy of Steve Sturm
Painted by Me

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RAM card featurig Tuefel72
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K9 officers and dogs leaving the K9 H.Q. located at Pratt & Calhoun Sts.
 
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K9 Graduation Class September 30, 1965

The 5th man from the right is Otts Coruzzi, later our liaison man at the Motor Vehicles in Glen Burnie

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The News American 1966
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1960 FORD K-9 STATION WAGON PARKED IN FRONT OF THE TACTICAL SECTION - K-9 HEADQUARTERS.
(THE OLD SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT)
AT PRATT AND CALHOUN STREETS
 
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Officer Tom Black K9 Unit 1961
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1963 FORD K-9 WAGON AT K-9 HQ.

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Officer Joseph Garpstas, Lt. John Biemiller, K-9 Commander, bid farewell to K9 dog "Sarge"
as he begins his retirement from active duty.

Joseph J. Garpstas, 84, of Crisfield and formerly of Glen Burnie, died Thursday, August 28, 2014 at Coastal Hospice at the Lake in Salisbury.

Born in Baltimore on April 9, 1930, he was the son of the late Joseph C. and Margaret Bathgate Garpstas. He had been making his home in Crisfield for the past 27 years.

He was a retired Baltimore City Police Officer working from 1951 until 1977. He was one of the original K-9 officers and later was an instructor.

Mr. Garpstas was a member of the former Crisfield Kiwanis Club and spearheaded the Christmas toy drive for many years. He was also a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary Crisfield, Knights of Columbus, and the USMC Reserves.

He is survived by his wife, Alfreda Lehmann Garpstas of Crisfield; two daughters, Susan Hose and Brenda Garpstas, both of Crisfield; a sister, Dorothy Braitwaite and husband Don of Deal Island; a grandson, Brian Garpstas and wife Kelly of Crisfield; three great grandchildren, Ashley, Amber and Emily Garpstas, all of Crisfield; and a great-great-granddaughter, Anabelle Garpstas of Crisfield.

Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Dougie Garpstas.

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Photo courtesy Officer Bill Hough

Officer Edward Dayhoff and his K-9 partner "CHAMP"


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Photo courtesy Officer Bill Hough Officer Dave Maguire and his K-9 partner
assist making an arrest durring a disturbance at Western High School.
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Photo courtesy Officer Bill Hough
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Officer Bob Powell and Partner "Blackie"
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Memorial Plaque Presented

On August 16, 1971 at the monthly meeting of the K-9 Law Enforcement Association, Officer David Stuller of the Tactical Section K-9 Unit was presented with a plaque to commemorate the loss of his dog, Shane, who died in the line of duty in June of this year.

The Plaque was presented by Commissioner Donald D. Pomerleau and Association President Paul Mossberg of the Frederick City Police Department at the meeting which was held at the Stafford Hotel. The presentation was also attended by Deputy Commissioner Frank J. Battaglia, Lieutenant Colonel Donald T. Shanahan, Captain Francis X. Hayes and Lieutenant Horace M. Lowman.

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K-9 UNIT: An Asset To Patrol

April 1974

His badge number is 182. He has been a member of the Department for over two years and has never driven a radio car. He works shift work and always has a driver who takes him to calls all over the city. All of his meals are supplied and paid for by the department. He received fourteen weeks of intensive training after he passed a rigorous physical examination and goes back to school for two days about every three weeks for retraining. If you believe he is receiving preferential treatment, you are right. He is four years old, his name is "Happy" , and he is a four legged member of the Department's Canine Unit. The Unit was formed in 1957 with two K-9 teams consisting of a dog and a handler. This Unit has expanded to its present authorized strength of forty-two teams. These dogs and handlers are on patrol around the clock manning downtown and hospital area footposts as well as motorized patrol in specially selected areas of the city. While on their posts these units are available to assist other units of the Patrol Division whenever their specialized skills become needed. The development of a team into a useful tool in law enforcement requires a dedicated and capable handler, a specially selected dog and a highly skilled team of instructors. The Department, by successfully combining these elements, has gained an international reputation for proficiency in the use of Canines. Police representatives from other departments throughout the United States and other countries as well, have visited the training complex. Many have had units of their own trained by the Department. Representatives have come to the K-9 Training Center from Alabama, Montana, Louisiana and from as far away as South Vietnam, Peru, Hong Kong and Guyana. The handlers are selected on a voluntary basis from among experienced sworn personnel. Before he is accepted the Officer is screened. He must have a residence suitable for properly caring for the dog and his family must be willing to receive the new member into their household. This process also includes detailed interviews and psychological testing.

 
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 Officer Lawrence J. Malat patrols the Charles Center with his dog Bruiser, the first Bouvier des Flanders utilized in law enforcement in the United States.

All dogs are donated to the Department and are usually between 9 months and 1 1/2 years old when accepted. The training director, Sergeant Thomas A. Knott, inspects all dogs offered to insure that they are in sound physical condition and of good disposition. Once found qualified the dog is turned over to a veterinarian for an extensive check-up to discover any possible physical or medical defects. The dogs and handlers are then paired and begin schooling. The team of instructors is comprised of two experienced trainers Officers William A. Lejewski and John F. Barnard. This Education and Training Unit is supervised by Sergeant Knott a twenty-three year veteran of the Department. Sergeant Knott has been training dogs for more than forty years. He is among the one hundred American Kennel Club Judges certified in Obedience and Tracking in the United States. He is also on the Advisory Council of the American Kennel Club and is an advisor to the Federal Government. During the fourteen weeks of schooling the dogs are first tested for gun shyness and trained in basic and advanced obedience. The teams then become well versed in building and field searches for both subjects and objects. This training also includes the recovery of weapons. Among the thirty-nine dogs and handlers deployed by the Department many are also proficient in specialized areas. Five are effective in bomb detection and over one half of the dogs have proved to be reliable in drug detection. Recently a new training program was introduced to enable K-9 teams to detect the presence of deceased persons. The Officers, in their continuing effort to improve and refine the skills of their dogs, also spend many off-duty hours in training. Numerous teams hold American Kennel Club Degrees. The Companion Dog Degree can be obtained only after a dog receives a minimum score of 170 out of a possible 200 points by three different AKC judges in obedience. The Tracking Degree is awarded to a dog who follows a 500 yard track left by a stranger within 40 feet, under the watchful eyes of two AKC judges. The track must be from fifteen minutes to two hours old. This must be accomplished while on his handler's lead and at the end, locate an object left by the stranger. The special skills developed by the teams are applied almost daily. A systematic search of a large building for a suspect by a group of eight to ten officers would take three to four hours. The same search by a Canine team requires only one-fifth the time

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Photo courtesy Lieut. Robert Wilson

Officer Larry Malat with his K9 partner

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Officer Joseph M. Dunn assists his dog “King” after he located some narcotics during training

Occasionally more than one team is needed. On September 24, 1973 the night watchman was making his rounds at the downtown Hochschild Kohn store on Howard Street. On the fifth floor he was overwhelmed by three burglars. One of the assailants struck him on the head with a pistol and the others tied him up before continuing on their rampage. The watchman was able to free himself and call the Police. Patrol Units responded, sealed off the building and notified the Canine Unit. Officer Francis Stewart and his dog “Snoopy” arrived first and began a systematic search. On the seventh floor, “Snoopy” alerted his handler that the suspects were near. Officer Stewart spotted two of the suspects lying on top of a beam running across the ceiling. He drew his service revolver, knowing that one of them might be armed and ordered them to come down. He then called for assistance on his radio, but due to the construction of the building none of the other units were able to understand his message. Officer John Pflueger and his dog, “Rudy“, were sent in to locate the other team. Once the suspects were taken into custody, the Officers continued the search. On the sixth floor, “Rudy” became tense and excited, alerting Officer Pflueger that the third suspect was inside a closet. He was placed under arrest and since no weapon was found on him the search continued for the handgun. On the seventh floor, near where the first two suspects were apprehended, a loaded revolver was located. One of the most dramatic and rewarding cases handled by the Department's Canine Unit occurred in 1971. A retired Police Lieutenant wondered away from a convalescent home while recovering from a serious line of duty injury. Hours of intense searching failed to locate him and the Canine Unit was called. A number of teams were sent and the dogs picked up the track. They found the Lieutenant, over a mile from the home, unconscious and lying in a pool of water. His life was saved and full credit was awarded to the Officers, Instructors and dogs who have exhibited that the Canine Unit is an effective tool in law enforcement.

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Officer Lawrence Malat & K9 "BRUISER"

'Bruiser, the Baltimore Police Department's first Bouvier des Flandres, still draws crowds of onlookers as he walks his post near Charles Center. Bruiser definitely does not fit the classic "picture" of a police dog. The Bouvier originated in Flanders, an ,ancient territory of France, which is now located within the borders of Belgium. The breed predates the 1800's but the specific dog we see today is a descendent of Bouviers which were recognized as a breed in 1910. Originally a farm dog the Bouvier is well suited to a variety of tasks, especially police work. Strong and alert the Bouvier's disposition makes him easy train. It is not the Bouvier's nature to be vicious but his devotion to his handler makes him an excellent K-9 because of his unfailing desire to carry out the commands and tasks given to him. K-9 Unit Adds Rottweiler April 1975 The classic image of a police dog at work is that of the dignified and alert German Shepherd at his handler's side. So imbedded is that image that many people are somewhat dumbfounded when they see one of the other breeds of working dogs performing the same functions. Another unusual breed is the Roltweiler. Gus, now a member of the Department's K-9 Unit, represents a breed which qualifies as one of the first working dogs. Their history dates back to the Roman Empire when they were used to herd cattle. The Rottweiler is about the same size as the traditional Shepherd but the similarity ends there. His coat is short and is always black with tan markings on the muzzle, cheeks, chest and legs. Attributes of the Rottweiler in law enforcement are his intelligence, size, steadiness and good sense of smell. The dog is well muscled and compact. His demeanor is dignified and he is not easily excited. Gus, who has been on the street for just a few weeks has never failed to energetically perform the many tasks assigned to him.

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Another unusual breed is the Roltweiler. Gus, now a member of the Department's K-9 Unit, represents a breed which qualifies as one of the first working dogs. Their history dates back to the Roman Empire when they were used to herd cattle. The Rottweiler is about the same size as the traditional Shepherd but the similarity ends there. His coat is short and is always black with tan markings on the muzzle, cheeks, chest and legs. Attributes of the Rottweiler in law enforcement are his intelligence, size, steadiness and good sense of smell. The dog is well muscled and compact. His demeanor is dignified and he is not easily excited. Gus, who has been on the street for just a few weeks has never failed to energetically perform the many tasks assigned to him. Gus, who is handled by Officer Tobe A. Morrow, is the first Rottweiler utilized by the Department. Both Bruiser and Gus have taken their place within the K-9 Unit and have been accepted as members of the Baltimore Police Department. Members of the Department are invited to stop and meet them as they patrol their assigned areas or call for aid whenever their expertise can be helpful to assist in unusual situations. Their handlers are used to answering the many questions that come their way. As for the dogs. . . you should meet them. They can be very friendly

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Officer Bob McCall (R) with his K9 partner on patrol in the downtown area
K9 course
Courtesy Robert Miller
K9 hard at work
Courtesy Robert Miller
K9 hard at work 2
Courtesy Robert Miller
K9 hard at work 3
Courtesy Robert Miller
As a side note this is Robert Miller's Family
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Courtesy Robert Miller
K9 hard at work 5
Courtesy Robert Miller
K9 hard at work 6
Courtesy Robert Miller
K9 hard at work 7
Courtesy Robert Miller
K9 wallet pics
Courtesy Robert Miller
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Courtesy Robert Miller

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Called to Give My All

I am a Police dog in a canine crew

I’ve been trained to see it through

When danger is near, my ears perk up

They taught me as a pup

I’m often there to protect your rights

My presence sometimes hinders fights

I never attack with thought to kill

When subduing one, my job I fill

I never worry a single thought

As to how I’ll fare at a certain spot

The love I have for my handler’s care

Is all I need each day to fare.

(Author unknown)

The Rainbow Bridge

There is a bridge connecting heaven and Earth.

It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge is a land of meadows, hills and valleys, all of it covered with lush green grass. When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this lovely land. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. There, the old and frail animals are young again. Those who are maimed are made whole once more. They play all day with each other, content and comfortable. There is only one thing missing. They are not with the special person who loved them on Earth. So each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up! Then, the nose twitches. The ears are up! The eyes are staring! You have been seen, and that one suddenly runs from the group! You take him or her in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again and again, and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet. Then, together, you cross the Rainbow Bridge, never again to be separated.

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 PHOTO COURTESY OFFICER GEORGE PARSONS

Officer George Parsons with his K9
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Photo Courtesy Lt. Robert Oros
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Officer Charmaine Thomas kneeling behind her partner "Bear", in the grass in Druid Hill Park.  Bear is still with us, at 14 years old.  He worked for 7 years in the K9 unit, working as an EOD, Drug Detection, Tracking, Building search, and Protection trained dog.  When Officer Charmaine Thomas transferred to the Executive Protection Unit, he was the first ever K9 dog who was assigned to work in EPU, where he served an additional 3 years.  Bear became an EOD only dog, they assisted the K9 unit when needed, along with conducting any bomb sweeps for visiting dignitaries.  He retired at 11 years old, and would still like to go to work with her, three years later, if he could.  He is a very special dog. Both were very proud to have been a part of that unit. I learned that "Bear" an exceptional K9 was just put down this past Friday March 26, 2010. "Bear" was a long time member of this agency, please keep his devotion to duty and the many things he did for the agency and its members in your hearts as well with his handler Charmaine who is dealing with his loss. Thank-you both for your service.
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Motor-K9 1981COURTESY RETIRED OFFICER DAVID EASTMAN
Officer Gary Green on the motor and K9 Officer Dave Gunter with K9 "TSAR" 1981

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ORIGINAL K9 PATCH

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K-9 Officers at the City Fair 1978

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BALTIMORE POLICE K9

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Photo courtesy Officer Tom Bailey

Officer Tom Bailey and Officer Kevin Reed with "Red" & "Rocky"

1982
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ORIGINAL 1956's K-9 BELT BUCKLE

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Photo courtesy Officer Herb Moseley

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 Photo courtesy Officer Herb Moseley

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 Photo courtesy Officer Herb Moseley

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 COURTESY MARYLAND FALLEN OFFICERS MEMORIAL Badge made to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Baltimore Police K-9 Unit.

1956-2006 50 years of service to the City of Baltimore.

 

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 PATCH made to commemorate the 50th. Anniversary of the Baltimore Police K-9 Unit.

             1956-2006 50 years of service to the City of Baltimore.

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Officer Lee Cohen

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 Baltimore's Oldest Police K9 Dies

December 21, 2006

Baltimore, MD

There is sad news from the Baltimore Police Department, as the oldest veteran of its renowned k-9 unit has died. “Reno” was 14, and served 11 years as officer Jerry Turpin's partner, before failing hips, caused him to be put down. With tears in his eyes, Turpin, a 26-year veteran of the force, says "I've lost my best friend. Nobody will ever know what goes on between an officer and his dog." Reno and Jerry hit the streets in 1996 and were inseparable until Reno was injured in the line of duty. In 2005 Reno fell through a window while in pursuit of a suspect which lead to his retirement as a result of the injuries. Reno's sister “Imka” has become Jerry's new partner. There are 28 canines on the city police force which, celebrated its 50th anniversary last March.

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K-9 Corps The Baltimore Police Department, famous for its superior K-9 unit, was somewhat taken back by this recent incident: Returning home from work, a woman was shocked to find her house ransacked and burglarized. She telephoned the police at once and reported the crime. The police dispatcher broadcast the call on the channels and a K-9 unit patrolling nearby was the first to respond. As the K-9 officer approached the house with his dog on a leash, the woman ran out on the porch, shuddered at the sight of the cop and his dog, then sat down on the steps put her face in her hands and moaned, "I come home to find all my possessions stolen. I call the police for help, and what do they do?" "They send me a BLIND policeman!" 

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A Police Dogs Prayer

Author - Unknown

Oh almighty God, whose great power and eternal wisdom embraces the universe, watch over my handler while I sleep. Protect my handler from harm while I am unable to do so. I pray, help keep our streets and homes safe while my handler and I rest. I ask for your loving care because my handler's duty is dangerous. Grant my handler your unending strength and courage in our daily assignments. Dear God, protect my brave handler, grant your almighty protection, unite my handler safely with the family after the tour of duty has ended. I ask nothing for myself. Amen.

Guardians Of The Night

Author - Unknown

Trust in me my friend for I am your comrade. I will protect you with my last breath When all others have left you And the loneliness of the night closes in, I will be at your side. Together we will conquer all obstacles, And search out those who might wish harm to others. All I ask of you is compassion, The caring touch of your hands. It is for you that I will unselfishly give my life And spend my nights un rested. Although our days together May be marked by the passing of the seasons Know that each day at your side is my reward. My days are measured by The coming and going of your footsteps. I anticipate them at every opening of the door. You are the voice of caring when I am ill. The voice of authority when I've done wrong. Do not chastise me unduly For I am your right arm, The sword at your side. I attempt to do only what you bid of me. I seek only to please you and remain in your favor. Together you and I shall experience A bond only others like us will understand When outsiders see us together Their envy will be measured by their disdain. I will quietly listen to you And pass no judgment, Nor will your spoken words be repeated I will remain ever silent, Ever vigilant, ever loyal. And when our time together is done And you move on in the world Remember me with kind thoughts and tales, For a time we were unbeatable, Nothing passed among us undetected. If we should meet again on another street I will gladly take up your fight, I am a Police Working Dog and together We are guardians of the night. 

Life Of A Police Dog

Author - Unknown

We're both partners and buddies in blue. We did school demos and never did wrong, Over the years, my love did grow strong. How I loved to work, stand up and bark, In the back of our car, from light until dark. We went call to call, having fun all the way, Until the call came on that one fateful day. A man with a gun, the dispatcher did say, I jumped from my car when it pointed your way. Before leaving home, I was told by your wife, I knew at that moment, I'd give you my life. The bullet struck hard, steady and true, The bullet struck me, it did not strike you. When you go home, tell your wife I did good, Strong, tall and proud on the ground that I stood. I'm dead and gone now, this much is so true, But I've done my job well in protecting you.

A Working Dog's Oath

Author - Unknown

They handled themselves with beauty & grace and who could ever forget that beautiful face Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test they always worked hard; and did their best They were real champions; at work or at play but their lives were cut short; suddenly one day While working on the job with their partner one day they put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give they gave up their life; so someone could live The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze the sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall off in the distance they can see a waterfall As they look over the falls; down through the creek the water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek Far up above; in the deep blue sky they see the birds soar high; as they fly by They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall chasing each other; and just having a ball They play all day; from morning to night there's no more rain; just warm sunlight Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow The harps would play and the angels would sing as they know they've come home; they've earned their wings We remember that they died; in the line of duty and are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free with an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take just a run through the meadow; down to the lake A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore then it's off to the forest; to go play some more These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above they're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night in loving memory of all; these very special knights.

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Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. 

Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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