PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth Police Department has a new officer in training. His name is Romeo, he’s almost 2 years old and he’s covered in fur.
K9 Romeo and his handler Officer Quincy Grabau start training on March 25. It’ll last about 15 weeks, and when they’re done they will be the city’s newest K9 team, Sgt. Robert Topp, the department’s K9 unit supervisor, told Lakeshore Weekly News.
“Having been a prior K9 handler, I can attest that the dogs truly do the work of many officers. They are invaluable as locating tools and help keep our officers safe on a daily basis,” Todd said.
Romeo and Grabau will be a “dual purpose” police K9 team, Topp said. This means they will be certified in patrol work and narcotics. Patrol work entails collecting evidence, tracking people, obedience and apprehension, while narcotics work includes the ability to give an alert (usually the dog sits) when the dog smells narcotics, Topp said.
Romeo will be trained to alert his handler when he smells cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin, with Topp noting other narcotics may be added.
When they graduate from training, Romeo and Grabau will replace Officer Matt Gliniany and K9 Stryker. Stryker is retiring after nearly nine years of service with the Plymouth Police Department, Topp said. Stryker will become the official “property” of Gliniany and his family.
“Upon their retirement, the dogs become family pets with the hopes that they enjoy a well deserved life of leisure,” Topp said.
The Plymouth Police Department has three K9 teams, which average about 500 deployments per year, Topp said, noting a “significant number” take place in surrounding communities that don’t have their own K9 teams.
Romeo is a German shepherd who was imported from Slovakia through a “well-established” police K9 vendor, Topp said. The city took ownership of Romeo on March 11.
Romeo will be Grabau’s first K9 partner, but he had family dogs for much of his life, Topp said. Grabau was one of eight officers who took part in an interview and selection process to be the department’s next K9 handler.
“Officer Grabau is a proactive officer who has always had an interest in narcotics-related police work,” Topp said.