NORFOLK, NE — We’ve covered use of force, tasers and guns…but there’s another tool officers can use…in fact, their use in law enforcement dates back the the early 1900s.
Senna is a Belgian Malinois and a K9 for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
As a K9, Senna has to be intelligent, aggressive, strong and have a good sense of smell to do the things her handler and Madison County Deputy Alex Johnson needs her to do.
“She has been trained for tracking, evidence recovery, narcotics detection and patrol work, such as apprehension.”
When it comes to apprehension, you do not want to play hide and seek with a K9.
Johnson says that K9’s are also a great tool for intimidation, bark most people don’t want a trained K9 charging them.
What officers may lack in visuals, K9’s make up with their scent.
In two separate August manhunts, Senna and other area K9’s proved to be an extremely useful tool.
“In that situation you couldn’t see the individual but the dog could smell and indicated that he was in the corn there and after giving announcements on the dog, the person complied and gave himself up.”
K9’s are also very protective of their handlers. Johnson’s patrol car is fitted with a special remote that allows Johnson to open the door and release Senna if he’s in trouble.
A K9 bite is considered an intermediate weapon on par with the laser, pepper spray or a baton.
According to Johnson, a lot of patience and times goes into working with K9’s, and the training, according to Johnson “is harder than most people realize. It never ends.”