Porter County Sheriff's Department


What's Happening at The Porter County Sheriff's Department

 

K-9 Demonstration

Taking the "bite" out of crime

Donation pays for special bite suit for police department.
BY KEN KOSKY
This story ran on nwitimes.com on Wednesday, December 8, 2004 12:21 AM CST

VALPARAISO | Police dogs need to practice attacks so they'll be ready if they ever need to take down a criminal. 

Canines at the Porter County Sheriff's Department can get all the practice they need now that a full-body bite suit worth $2,000 has been donated to the department. The suit, which cannot be penetrated by a dog's teeth, can be worn by someone playing the role of the criminal during canine training.  The funding for the suit came from Kankakee Valley REMC's Operation Round-Up. About 70 percent of the utility's customers agree to have their utility bills rounded up to the next dollar each month, and that money goes to fund projects for police departments, fire departments, schools and civic organizations. A full-body bite suit worth $2,000 has been donated to the department. The suit, which cannot be penetrated by a dog's teeth, can be worn by someone playing the role of the criminal during canine training.

The funding for the suit came from Kankakee Valley REMC's Operation Round-Up. About 70 percent of the utility's customers agree to have their utility bills rounded up to the next dollar each month, and that money goes to fund projects for police departments, fire departments, schools and civic organizations.  Since Operation Round-Up began in 2000, more than $100,000 has been returned to the counties REMC serves, said Amanda Leek, Operation Round-Up coordinator.  Leek was on hand Tuesday to officially make the donation, and she got to see police officers Larry LaFlower and Matt Edwards unleash their dogs on the man in the bite suit, jail officer Josh Dobson. "It is reassuring to know we've got the generous support of ... the community," said David Lain, sheriff's department chief deputy .  Lain said the donation will allow the officers to train their dogs so if there is ever a dangerous situation, the dogs "may be able to prevent injury to an officer."

 

Jail Officer Josh Dobson

 

K9 Bandit

 

K9 Aslan (Right)

 

Training bites back at Porter County crime

Dec. 8, 2004

By Frank Wiget/Post Tribuen staff writer

 

Jail officer Joshua Dobson walked away without a scratch after two German shepherds attacked him Tuesday morning. He was demonstrating the effectiveness of the Porter County Sheriff’s Department’s new K-9 bite suit, which allows dog handlers to train the animals without suffering injuries. Dobson, in his second week at the county jail, was fitted with heavy black, thickly insulated pants and a red jacket, also heavily insulated. For added protection, he had plastic covers over both hands. “I didn’t feel a thing,” he said after canine handlers pulled their patrol dogs off him. County officer Larry LaFlower sent Aslan, his 3-year-old canine, after Dobson, portraying an offender. Officer Matt Edwards also let 2-year-old Bandit loose to attack the jailer in the county police training room. They were demonstrating Ray Allen Professional K-9 Equipment. The suit cost about $2,000 and was purchased with a grant from Kankakee Valley Rural Electric Membership Corp.’s Operation Roundup program. Amanda Leek, Operation Roundup coordinator, said the program’s board of directors meets four times a year to review grant applications and decide who will get how much. Grants are to police and fire departments, schools and other public agencies. Awards range from $500 to $2,500, with at least one of $4,500, she said. Leek said Operation Roundup also provided a similar grant to the Valparaiso Police Department for protective vests for two officers who are members of the Porter County S.W.A.T. team. The utility provides electric service to portions of Porter, Lake, LaPorte, Pulaski, Starke and Marshall counties, she said. The Sheriff’s Department also has two bloodhounds, Sam and Josie, who work with Sgt. Charlie Douthett. LaFlower applied to Operation Roundup for the grant for the dog bite suit. He said the one the department used was showing its age and had some holes in it.

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