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K-9 facility offers training for state’s police agencies

December 30, 2018
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In this Monday, Dec. 17, 2018 photo, following a grand opening ceremony, Katie, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois canine officer, stands in one of the new kennels inside the Ohio State Highway Patrol's police dog training facility in Marysville, Ohio. The site includes state of the art classrooms, offices, dorms, kennels and a training building. It will be used to train new dogs and handlers for the patrol and other departments. (Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

MARYSVILLE, Ohio (AP) — The State Highway Patrol hopes its training facility for police dogs in central Ohio will help the patrol and other law enforcement agencies in the state.

The $1.4 million statewide facility opened Dec. 17 in Marysville northwest of Columbus. The site includes state of the art classrooms, offices, dorms, kennels and a training building. It will be used to train new dogs and handlers for the patrol and other departments.

The patrol has trained 43 dogs since its training program started in 2015, including 31 for the patrol and 12 for other agencies. The Marysville facility was funded by appropriations in the Ohio Department of Public Safety capital budget, officials say.

The Reynoldsburg Division of Police is one of the Ohio police departments using the facility at no cost. The center will save the department about $40,000 with training for its two police dogs, according to Deputy Chief Curtis Baker.

“It’s nice that we have a somewhat local facility. Some of the competitors are up to three hours away,” Baker said.

Patrol spokesman Lt. Robert Sellers noted that the new facility combines vital training elements.

“A law enforcement K9′s job is much more than sniffing for narcotics. It’s finding that lost child or elderly person. It’s the wanted fugitive that needs to be located before they hurt somebody,” Sellers said. “This training facility will not only better prepare the handlers, but the K9 to do their job as a team.”

The first training class is scheduled for March 2019. Officials say it will have nine dogs from eight law enforcement agencies.

Col. Paul Pride, the patrol superintendent, is optimistic about the facility.

“We’re looking forward to doing some really good, really cool things here,” he said.

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