Sniffing out crime with the Baton Rouge Police Department's K-9 Division
BATON ROUGE - It's business as usual for K-9 Bruno, going through weekly drills in order to sniff out crime.
He's one of several on the Baton Rouge Police K-9 division team who search the streets for evidence.
"He's a really good tracking dog. He likes to track. He enjoys his job. He really enjoys evidence recovery. I've located numerous firearms with him out on the streets and stuff like that," Kirt Allen with the K-9 Unit said.
The weekly training is wide-ranging.
"We teach our dogs obedience, scent work, agility, criminal apprehension, tracking and all the things that we're going to use in the job that we were going to do," Cpl. James Crisler said.
They work high profile cases and search for some of the most dangerous criminals.
"We do use our dogs to locate extremely violent and most, oftentimes armed felons that have run and hide from us," Crisler said.
K-9 Bruno and his handler, Kirt Allen, were called to assist in locating an attempted murder suspect in Ascension Parish back in May.
"Bruno found him really quickly," Allen said. "The guy actually ran again. We had to relocate and do it all over again. We found him in a backyard, and he actually gave up."
It's training like this that puts these bad guys behind bars.
"They'll alert us with a bark when he's found the suspect. When they're looking for items that might have been used in a crime, anything from weapons to somebody's wallet. They'll go under a house or jump over a six-foot fence," Lyle Andre' with the K-9 Unit said.
"We give warnings to everyone that runs and hides from us. I would say 95% of the time they do surrender," Cpl. Crisler said.
These officers risk their lives each day, and it was a close call for Cpl. Travis Bozeman and his K-9, Mack, who was shot in the line of duty in January 2021 while pursuing a stolen vehicle.
"I heard a gunshot coming from the direction where K-9 Mack was chasing the other three suspects. I rounded the building, found Mack, and he had sustained a gunshot wound to the right side of his mouth, and it came out the left side of his neck," Cpl. Bozeman said.
Luckily, the three-year-old German Shepherd made a full recovery and was back training within a few months.
"I was concerned about my dog. You get so attached to them through all the training and things, the last thing you want to see is them get hurt, it's part of the job," Cpl. Bozeman said.
But when a job is too risky for these top dogs, they'll use other tools and teams, doing everything to get the job done while keeping safety a top priority.
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