NFL DE Robison’s charity provides K-9 for Splendora PD
A.D., the newest member of the Splendora Police Department, marks the first K-9 officer in the force in more than a decade.
Chief Wally Wieghat said the Maliherd – a German shepherd and Belgian malinois mixed breed – will sniff out plenty of drugs and crime in East Montgomery County.
The dog, who was named A.D. for his “all day” energy level, is a $13,000 gift to the department from a charity operated by Splendora High School graduate and Minnesota Viking defensive end Brian Robison and K9s4COPs.
“This is a big shot in the arm for our agency,” Wieghat said. “I am tremendously thankful for our department being the recipient of the dog, which will help us deal with the ever-increasing flow of narcotics through our city and with the ability to track suspects and find lost people.”
While Splendora is made up of roughly 2-1/2 square miles, the town is a hub of activity with an interstate running through it.
“A while back, we had a traffic stop and we suspected narcotics was involved. However, we were unable to search the vehicle for the drugs and had to send the person on their way. We alerted other agencies about the vehicle and it was ultimately stopped by police in Louisiana, who found six kilos of cocaine and $90,000 inside,” Wieghat said. “That’s seizure money that could have remained in Splendora.”
A.D. is assigned to work with Officer Ray Hardin, who has been with Splendora PD for just six months. The two partners started working together a couple of weeks ago and have about seven more weeks of intense training ahead at the Houston K-9 Academy.
According to Wieghat, the partnership between a K-9 officer and its handler goes well beyond work hours. A K-9 officer is with its handler 24 hours a day, seven days a week, living with the handler’s family and participating in nearly every activity of the handler’s life.
When asked how he was selected as the officer to work with A.D., Hardin said. “I like to be productive and go out and find narcotics. I think they picked me because of my drive for this job.”
Wieghat said that the department plans to make A.D. available to local school districts to assist in locker searches for narcotics and other law enforcement agencies when the need arises.
In order to adequately care for A.D., the city of Splendora recently purchased a Chevy Tahoe that will be equipped with a cage to transport A.D. and door-poppers that allow Hardin to release the dog with the push of a button on his gear.
“That’s essential in emergencies where the officer has to quickly respond,” Wieghat said.
The city also has purchased gear for the dog to wear that will protect him from being stabbed or shot while subduing a suspect and a GPS tracker to help locate the dog while searching for suspects or lost persons in densely wooded areas. The city also funded the $15,000 to $20,000 in training for Hardin and A.D. at the Houston K-9 Academy.
“It’s money well spent, in my opinion. This K-9 is another law enforcement tool for us to use in our interactions with the public and the enforcement of laws,” the chief said. “Hopefully this will make our community safer by helping us remove meth, marijuana, hashish, codeine, morphine and all other illegal substances from our streets and schools.”