Piqua Police Department to add K-9 unit to its ranks

The Piqua Police Department accepts a grant award for its new Police K-9 Program from The Piqua Community Foundation on Wednesday at the department. Pictured, from left to right, are Randi Pearson, Jim Oda, Sharon Semanie, Detective Kiersten Brisset, Deputy Chief Marty Grove, Kalette Hittle, Dr. Mike Tinkler and Beth Kazer. (Submitted photo)

PIQUA – The Piqua Police Department is proud to announce that it will be adding a canine to its ranks with the establishment of the Police K-9 Program.

The Piqua Community Foundation fully funded the department’s grant request for the program in its spring grant cycle and presented the award earlier this week.

“The introduction of our canine program underscores our unwavering commitment to proactive policing and community-centered law enforcement,” said Police Chief Rick Byron. “The highly trained canine unit will serve as an invaluable asset in our ongoing efforts to ensure public safety and enhance the quality of life for all residents of Piqua.”

The Police K9 Program represents a significant investment in advancing law enforcement methodologies to better serve and safeguard the Piqua community. The canine unit, along with its skilled handler, will play a pivotal role in various law enforcement operations, including:

Narcotics detection: The canine unit will assist in detecting illegal drugs, contributing to the crackdown on drug trafficking and substance abuse within the department’s jurisdiction.
Search and rescue: Equipped with unparalleled olfactory senses, the canine unit will aid in locating missing persons and providing vital assistance during search and rescue missions.

Patrol and tracking: With their exceptional tracking abilities, the canine team will assist in apprehending suspects, locating evidence and securing crime scenes swiftly and effectively.
Community engagement: The presence of a police canine unit will foster positive interactions between law enforcement and the community, promoting trust, cooperation and mutual respect.

Detective Kiersten Brisset, who conducted the necessary research to launch the program for the department, said that the police dog selected for the program will have undergone rigorous training to meet the highest standards of proficiency and professionalism. Furthermore, the handler will have undergone specialized training to cultivate a strong bond and effective communication with their canine partner.

“We look forward to seeing this program come to fruition and welcoming the canine to our department and to our community,” Brisset said. “We anticipate that the canine will be a German shepherd due to the breed’s unique traits that make it ideal for law enforcement work. Residents can expect to see the canine at work during regular patrols as well as at community events when the canine begins service.”

Deputy Chief Marty Grove said that the support from The Piqua Community Foundation’s grant ensures the program will go forward this summer, with both the canine and the handler being identified by July.

The canine will participate in Ohio State Patrol training in Marysville Ohio before entering the 10-week training course in the fall with its handler. In addition to the grant funding secured this week, the Police K-9 Program also has support from Ohio State Patrol and local pet supply business R Pets.

“The Piqua Police Department extends its sincere appreciation to The Piqua Community Foundation and our other contributors for the generous support in establishing this innovative and engaging program,” Grove said. “The Police K-9 Program promises to make a lasting and positive impact on our community.”

For more information about the Piqua Police Department, visit piquaoh.gov/police.