FAIRBORN – Fairborn Police Chief Terry Barlow estimates that some of crimes taking place within the city have roots dug into a drug-related matter. In an effort to reduce such crimes, the Fairborn Police Department will introduce a K9 unit to the force early next year.
“The bottom line is: most crimes are committed because of a drug habit,” he said. “Very seldom do you see crimes being committed and that’s not the reason for it. Obviously, you have domestic situations and things of that nature, but when property crimes and a series of violent crimes are involved, usually drugs are the root of all evil.”
One officer currently on the force will be trained for six weeks beginning in November to properly handle the police dog; early next year, the K9 unit will officially be introduced to the force. However, this is not the first time the department has dealt with an animal of the law – it previously owned a K9 unit, however it passed away due to cancer in 2002, and currently utilizes dogs from surrounding local departments up to twice per week.
“The reason it has taken so long has been because of staffing issues,” Barlow said. “The last levy that passed here in November 2014, it gave us three additional officers. By giving us three additional officers on the street, that allows for us to have one individual being a K9 officer that can specialize in that particular area and focus on that field.”
The dog, which will either be a German shepherd or Belgium malinois, will be purchased oversees and trained before it is brought to Fairborn, and the officer who is selected will then house the animal. They must first express an interest, go through an interview process and allow home visits and talks to take place between department officials and those who will be living near the dog.
The dog would be a duel-purpose K9, meaning that it can track individuals who flee the scene of a crime and sniff out drugs. The handling officer and dog will be assigned a regular shift, but will be available for duty at anytime.
Whitney Vickers can be reached by calling her directly at 937-502-4532.