Our second week of training continued to build on the foundation of the first week of training. In addition to the obedience and searches (explosives and narcotics), we began tracking people. Carl and Allied (and their handlers) had a busy week.
To give you some examples of these different disciplines and the training progression, I’ll start with obedience. The first week, we worked on basic heeling (the dog walking on your left side), having the dog sit and stay down, stay in their respective positions as you moved out in front of the dog. There was also obedience with another dog on the field at the same time with you. This week, the dogs worked on all of these previous skills and also “downing” while we continued to walk. The dogs were also exposed to more distractions (gunfire, for example) and were taken through a series of commands without the handler having the leash.
The searches are increasingly challenging and more complex. For Carl, his explosive searches involved more rooms and larger rooms. One of his searches involved a series of ten rooms, several of the rooms contained no explosive training aids. The searches are unknown to me. I have to focus on my search patterns, watching him work, listening to his breathing patterns, and recognizing when he begins to work the odor of an explosive. I’m also trying to move quickly through the search area focusing on areas that are likely to contain an explosive. There’s a lot to process very quickly. I’m improving, but have a long way to go!
Officer Baumgart is having a similar experience with his narcotics searches with Allied. He’s moved to several different locations, inside and outside. The two of them are searching buildings, rooms and vehicles. One of the locations we both went to this week was a large auto salvage yard, containing hundreds and hundreds of vehicles. We were required to search different sections of the yard and locate our respective explosive or narcotic finds.
We both also began tracking. We are doing relatively short tracks of people. The longest track is 50-75 yards with a couple of turns. Much of this week for us is getting comfortable with preparing the dog to be successful on the track. This preparation includes bringing them up to the track (giving them an idea of what they are doing, smoothly putting on their tracking harnesses–easier said than done) and running the track. You have to make sure the dog has engaged the track and then use great leash discipline on the track.
After training was complete Friday, we also had two tests. These week’s tests covered narcotics and first aid for our dogs. The narcotics test covered everything from search patterns, to types of indications, to types of narcotics and more. The first aid test covered everything from the number of olfactory cells the dog’s have to the symptoms and treatment of a dog if it ingests a narcotic or some other dangerous household items (anti-freeze, for example). We also had to know they symptoms and treatment of other illnesses (bloat and heat stroke) to name a few. Week 2 is in the books. The training for next week will continue to increase in intensity and complexity. We’ll try and provide an update as we can. Thanks for reading. Sergeant Jeff Felt
Reported by Sergeant Jeff Felt, Madison Police Department
March 28, 2016 7:29 PM
Officer Jason Baumgart and I are currently at Shallow Creek Kennels, Sharpsville, PA, going through a six week handlers course getting the Madison’s Police Department’s two newest canines, Carl, a single purpose bomb dog and, Allied, a dual purpose patrol dog. This is Officer Baumgart’s first police dog. This will be my second police dog, but first explosive detection dog.
The class began last Monday, March 20th, and will conclude Friday, April 29th. There are 15 other handlers from all over the Midwestern and Eastern part of the country here for the course and their dogs. The first two days of class were spent in the classroom, learning everything from the history of your breed of dog, to principles of training, to genetics and drives, to first aid and recognizing symptoms of different ailments the dog may have and treatment for these various problems. Written tests on covered subject matter are administered each Friday.
Before we first worked with our new partners, we practiced and practiced “dry runs” on automobiles, buildings, and obedience. We worked on search patterns, to help make the transition a bit smoother when we began working with our dog. Needless to say, things haven’t always gone smoothly and all of this is under the guidance of a trainer. We receive constructive feedback on everything we do, from leash holding, to footwork, to the tone of our voice when giving commands or praising our dogs. The training is challenging and rewarding.
The remainder of the week was spent working on narcotics searches for Officer Baumgart and explosive searches for me. We both also began working on basic obedience with our partners. One of the challenges I’ve had is my former partner’s commands were in German, both of these dog’s commands are in Dutch. I’ve inadvertently given several German commands–too much motor memory. I’m trying to get better every day!
Jason and I will try and provide a weekly update of our progress and experience. All of the training was on-site this week. Next week, we’ll be traveling to other venues to expose the handlers and the dogs to different environments and challenges. We’ll be working on other aspects of our training, building on the foundation of this week. We’re looking forward to it!
I’ve attached a couple of pictures of the new dogs. Carl is a German Shepherd and Allied a Belgian Malinois. Both are just under a year and a half old. Stay tuned for updates…..Sergeant Jeff Felt
Green Madison is an effort to reduce energy consumption in the City of Madison. In its first round of an online sustainability game, Cool Choices, concluded in late November achieved cost savings, energy reductions and special recognitions for participants. The online game is part of Green Madison’s city-wide effort to reduce energy consumption and win the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize.
More than 850 individual players from over 45 Madison businesses and organizations signed up for the 8-week game. Players formed teams and competed to take the greatest number of sustainable and energy-saving actions. At the conclusion of the game the top three individual players were each awarded a grant to donate to the non-profit of their choice. These grants were sponsored by the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District and Madison Gas & Electric.
First place winner, Heidi Fleegel, donated her winning grant of $500.00 to Capital K9s, the non-profit organization that raises funds to support the Madison Police Department K9 Unit.
“I took part in the Cool Choices game to be more conscientious of making better choices (no matter how small) to help the environment. It was exciting to take first place and learn that I’d won the opportunity to donate a Green Madison grant to the non-profit of my choice. It’s a good example of how a simple game can create positive ripples in the community,” said Heidi Fleegel, City of Madison Records Clerk.
Thanks for your support of Capital K9s!
AppleWood Self Storage provides storage and training opportunities.
Training at his two facilities involves hiding drugs in empty storage units. According to the Madison Police Department, the dogs search for these illegal substances by attempting to detect their odor through closed doors.
“The problem of storage units being used for narcotics has been around for a very long time,” said Tim Zehring, a crime expert who specializes in self-storage facilities. “This is a legitimate problem.”
Owners of self-storage units believe that it makes sense for their facilities to allow police K9 units to train at their premises on a regular basis. This partnership works to:
• Reduce crime
• Attract better tenants
• Chase off the bad guys
• Promote good customer relations
• Stay on top of drug detection
• Demonstrate good corporate citizenship
Other storage facilities have requested random checks from the Madison Police Department. Drugs have never been detected in rented storage units at the Applewood Self Storage facilities.
This arrangement creates a win-win situation. According to owner David Wood, AppleWood Self Storage enjoys “the best occupancy levels” and the Madison Police Department canine unit is provided a quality storage and training venue.
Capital K9s thanks AppleWood Self Storage for this valuable service to the community.
This report was compiled by Sgt. Chris Boyd of the Madison Police Department K9 Unit.
The photos in the slideshow below are from the MPD K9 Unit training conducted on June 29, 2015.
“Our K9 Unit along with Oregon PD K9 and Green County K9 worked with a Brownie troop of 8 girls to better train the K9s to track missing children. The K9s practiced tracking a specific child in a busy neighborhood and the kids learned how the dogs use their noses to find individual people.
Each of the eight K9 teams tracked two different children a few blocks starting at Westminster Church on Nakoma Rd. Each girl was able to follow the tracking team while they worked and walk a path to be found by the K9.
Afterwords, the kids had plenty of questions to ask the K9 handlers about their K9 partners working abilities. It was good training and great fun for all involved.”
Mounds Pet Food Warehouse will sponsor Dog Fest at Angell Park in Sun Prairie on June 14, 2015. Once again, Capital K9s will participate at this delightful event. Click here for more information.
Officers of the Madison Police Department K9 Unit will demonstrate apprehension techniques.
A special treat is to have your photo taken, along with your dog(s), inside a police squad car.
It promises to be a great time for all!
K9 Johnny’s Retirement Party
On February 17, 2015, K9 Johnny celebrated his retirement from the Madison Police Department with his friends. Chief of Police Michael Koval praised K9 Johnny for his 10 years of dedicated service. Sgt Chris Boyd recognized both Police Officer Jim Donnell and K9 Johnny for their contributions to safeguard the citizens of Madison.
Thanks for your dedicated service, K9 Johnny! Enjoy your retirement!
K9 Johnny Retires
On Tuesday, February 17, 2015, K9 Johnny retired from the Madison Police Department. A media event took place at the police department’s training facility on that day. (more…)
Madison Police Officer Jim Donnell and K9 Krahnie tracked down a bank robber today. The armed robbery occurred at the Anchor Bank located in Monona at 6501 Monona Dr. at 8:34am. A witness saw the robber run across the Beltline. K9 Krahnie was started in the area the suspect was last seen. The team tracked the suspect through some thick marsh along the Yahara River. The area was so thick Officer Donnell had to work K9 Krahnie off leash. He would let her track then down her so officers could catch up. Officer Donnell eventually saw the suspect hiding in thick brush and ordered him to stand up. Seeing the suspect stand, K9 Krahnie attempted to apprehend the suspect. Officer Donnell ordered his K9 to down and she remained on guard until the suspect was taken into custody.
The apprehension earned Officer Donnell and K9 Krahnie a ride back to their squad on the Dane County Deputies air boat!
Author: Sgt Chris Boyd, Madison Police Department
Remember, the entire K9 unit of the Madison Police Department is funded through donations.