by: Gina Esposito Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department announced Tuesday that they’re bringing in a new group of K-9 units.
The news was revealed as the announcement was made that two of the department’s dogs are retiring.
K-9s Fellow and Danno are retiring after nearly nine years of service.
CMPD handlers started training new dogs Milo and Jax, both short-haired German shepherds, on Monday.
One of the dogs will be training in narcotics and will be able to search buildings, while the other will be training to search for bombs or explosives.
“We don’t give these dogs enough credit for the work they do,” CMPD K-9 Officer Darrell Brown said. “They do the work people don’t want to do.”
Brown said bomb dogs are needed in the Charlotte area because of tight security that’s demanded at large events.
“With the explosive dogs, sporting events have to be swept, light rails have to be swept, courthouses have to be swept. There is so much for those dogs to do now,” Brown said.
Currently, the K-9 group has 14 dogs that run operations within CMPD. Over the past year, the units have assisted with more than 1,200 calls. Police said K-9 units have caught more than 40 suspects, found 54 pieces of evidence and located three missing people.
The dogs that will retire will both go live with their handler’s family at home.
The new dogs will train for 12 weeks at CMPD headquarters before they are used in the field.
Brown said he’s also training a third dog — a golden retriever — to assist CMPD’s crime scene technicians with looking for cadavers, and to also act as a therapy dog.
Brown said the dogs are officers’ partners and are a big part of what the department does every day to fight crime.
“They are the ones keeping people safe when everyone is sleeping. They deserve the credit,” Brown said.
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