A new face stood before the Citizens Police Academy at the Bloomington Police Department on Tuesday night. A new, furry face and four paws.
The BPD K-9, Ike, paid a visit to the Citizens Police Academy during its third meeting of the 11-week program.
The 6-year-old German shepherd from the Czech Republic was purchased by BPD in August 2014.
Ike is a dual purpose K-9, so he carries out both tracking and narcotics detection. The 87-pound dog is trained to search for criminals and to detect marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.
Ike, short for his legal name Ike ze Stříbrného kamene, works with his handler Senior Officer Kiley Jarrett.
“You think having a dog is all fun and games,” Jarrett said. “But it’s a lot of work.”
Jarrett is the second handler Ike has had in his career, so she had to go through the 12 weeks of patrol training Ike had already completed with his first handler. She said he is the biggest challenge she’s faced at BPD.
Ike lives at home with Jarrett along with her three other dogs. Since Ike is a working dog, he is kept secluded from the other dogs, but will become a pet when he retires. At home, Jarrett said he also goes by the name Mr. Sweetface.
Jarrett gave the academy a presentation on Ike's history and the purpose of a K-9 unit. Ike sat with Jarrett’s patrol partner Lt. Lucas Tate while she presented, but stirred and whimpered for his handler.
“Platz!” Jarrett said to Ike.
This command means down in German. Jarrett rattled off a variety of German words throughout the night that were part of Ike’s vocabulary, as he was trained in German.
“We don’t have like full on conversations in German,” Jarrett said. “It’s just his commands.”
At one point in the presentation, Ike grew so impatient for one thing –his black chew toy. The plain dog toy without any treats stuffed inside is what Ike works for every day on the job. Ike carries out his duties to please Jarrett so she will reward him with his KONG.
“That’s all he cares about,” Jarrett said.
All of these duties are carried out using his most important asset – his nose. Jarrett said a German shepherd’s nose is up to 100,000 times more sensitive than human noses.
Jarrett said Ike can be trained to detect anything with an odor, such as explosives, USB flash drives, bed bugs and health conditions.
Tate said Ike’s breathing pattern will change when he is sniffing for drugs, and then the handler will notice that change.
Jarrett and Tate put Ike’s nose to the test through a demonstration for the group. Jarrett took Ike outside of the room while Tate hid 15 grams of marijuana.
Tate said they are certified by the Drug Enforcement Administration to have possession of drugs. He said they receive pure drugs from the DEA for Ike’s training, which are stored in a drug locker that only Jarrett and Tate have access to.
When Jarrett opened the door, Ike bust through ready to find the drugs and get his KONG. He ran to the podium where the marijuana was during the presentation, but couldn’t find it there.
He then began to scan the area by the projection screen, bumping into the flags on stage. His nose was pressed up against every surface he could find. He shifted his breathing from the panting out of his mouth to an attentive sniff through his nose.
His heavy paws then ran across to the right side of the room, Jarrett following him through her tight grip on his leash. He stuck his nose in an area, and didn’t take it away.
He had found the marijuana.
“Show me,” Jarrett said.
He sniffed again and then Jarrett threw his KONG at the source. Ike snatched his toy up as fast as he could.
“Good boy,” Jarrett said while she patted Ike as the slobber poured out his mouth around the chew toy.
Ike’s happiness was transmitted around the room as smiles instantly appeared on the faces of the audience. They pulled out their phones to capture photos of Ike, his toy and his slobber.