By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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Bogie, the department's newest K9 dog, was handpicked by master trainer Cpl. Kevin Miller from a Pennsylvania vendor to replace the retiring Kilo, another German shepherd who has served faithfully as a police dog since August 2002.
Born in the Netherlands, Bogie, 1, will undergo three months of police training and bond with his new handler, Officer Trevor Dropp, before joining the force early next year.
“A K9, obviously, has skills that an officer does not,” Port Angeles Police Chief Terry Gallagher said.
A dog's agility and keen sense of smell gives cops the upper hand in foot pursuits or searches, particularly at night.
“They augment the patrol function in a way that keeps our officers safe,” Gallagher said.
“We've had great success with our K9 program.”
Bogie will join Jag, a 4-year-old Belgian malinois from Germany that Miller handles, as the second dog on the Port Angeles police force.
“Once Bogie is up and running, we'll retire Kilo,” said Officer Allen Brusseau, Kilo's handler.
The Clallam County Sheriff's Office, State Patrol, Sequim police and other law enforcement agencies on the North Olympic Peninsula call on the city's K9 unit for backup.
“They're great at tracking,” Brusseau said.
Jag received police honors in June 2009 after he ruptured an artery hopping over a barbed-wire fence in pursuit of a man who was wanted on a felony warrant.
K9 cops are aggressive and “very protective of their handlers” when they are on duty, but they act like normal lap dogs at home, Brusseau said.
“It's interesting to watch the difference,” he added.
Meanwhile, Gallagher announced that the police department is considering a switch from eight-hour workdays to 11-hour shifts, with longer weekends.
The proposal was modeled after Peninsula Communications, the area's 9-1-1 dispatch center, which already has adopted a shorter work week with longer shifts to concentrate resources on times when they are needed most.
“In PenCom, we have seen a slight decrease in overtime, and sick time has dropped off the charts,” Gallagher said.
The move would allow officers and detectives to complete their reports at the end of their shifts without accruing overtime and spend more time with their families, Gallagher said.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.