Greenfield Police Department K-9 Rony paid the Greenfield Rotary Club a visit on Thursday and showed the membership some of the skills that make a dog a valuable tool to a law enforcement agency.
Handler and GPD Acting Chief Jeremiah Oyer hid drugs in various places throughout the VFW Ranch facility where Rotarians met Thursday, and Rony wasted no time in searching them out. When he found the illicit substances, he stopped and sat, what Oyer called “indicated,” keeping his eyes locked on the object concealing the drugs. The dog remained in the pose until Oyer, with a “whoop,” would reward Rony with his ball.
Rony also showed Rotarians his article searching skills as he found a previously placed object in the field behind the building. The object had been lobbed into the field by an attendee while Oyer and Rony were inside the building. When Rony found the item, the dog laid down near it and kept his eyes there until Oyer produced the ball.
Rony’s love for his ball was obvious, and one of the Rotarians asked Oyer if a bad guy tried to distract Rony with a ball, would it work? Oyer said it would not, because once the dog is given a command, he’ll do his job and complete the command before he will take the ball.
The 3-year-old Czechoslovakian shepherd has been with the department since last June. The department’s other K-9, Chica, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois, has served with GPD for over four years and is handled by patrolman Shawn Shanks.
Both dogs are certified in narcotics, tracking, and article searches.
As previously reported, the dogs recently received protective vests that are bulletproof and stab resistant. Rony’s vest was the result of an online donation campaign through Vesting America’s Police K-9, and Chica’s vest came through a single individual’s donation. According to Oyer, a person has already stepped forward to donate the roughly $1,500 to $2,000 to purchase a third vest when the department gains its third K-9.
Doing just that is a goal of Oyer’s and a savings account has been set up to take donations to purchase another dog for the department so that all three shifts can have K-9 coverage.
Anyone interested in making a donation can do so at Merchants National Bank. The savings account is under the name “Greenfield Police K-9.” Oyer said the account will remain even after enough money is donated to purchase another K-9, with the funds always going toward K-9 needs.
Those interested can find both of the GPD’s K-9s on Facebook by searching “Greenfield Police K9 Rony” and “Greenfield Ohio Police K-9 Chica.”
In other Rotary business, the Greenfield Rotary Club recently voted to extend its meetings to include a once-a-month evening meeting to be held the first Thursday of each month. The first of those meetings will be held on May 5 at 7 p.m. at Catch 22 Sports Pub, 250 Jefferson St.
The purpose of adding an evening meeting each month is to allow those who are interested in Rotary, but otherwise unable to make the weekly lunch meetings, an opportunity to gather and be a part of the service organization. The May 5 meeting will be informational. Anyone wanting to learn more about the Greenfield Rotary Club is welcome to attend.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.