Updated 03/18/2013 05:36 PM
K9 Unit Helps to Apprehend Burglary Suspect
They're as much a part of police work as the men and women who serve. Trained dogs helped Rochester police nab a burglary suspect early Monday.
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It is a partnership built first on trust.
For Sgt. Greg Kelly, it's knowing who has your back.
"This is K9 Giro, he's a five-year-old German Shepherd," said Kelly. "He's my partner. Comes home with me, goes to work with me every day."
Rochester police dogs respond to service calls 6,000 – 7,000 times a year. They're as important to a cop's work as their service revolver.
"If you were to think about it, We spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week with these guys. They're our partner, they come home with us. They become part of our family."
Early Monday brought the latest example of K-9 duty in Rochester.
"Guy had sequestered himself in the basement," Kelly said. "Officers called him out several times. He refused and that's when we deployed a K-9."
Officers couldn't get John Vogler out of the basement of an Oxford Street apartment house. A German Shepherd did.
"Our dogs are trained to bark and guard if a suspect does not move or resist. If they do, then they are taught to engage."
Catching suspects and having each other's backs.
"We become in tune with each other. I know his mannerisms, he knows mine and we watch each other's backs."
In law enforcement, you often hear about the concept of brotherhood. It's a concept that goes far beyond just the men and women who do the job.
That's part of the reason why, when a police dog was shot to death during the climax of a standoff with a murder suspect in Herkimer last week, it hit home.
"It impacts us a lot, especially in this field. We know if need be they're trained to give their life for one of ours and although it's a hard pill to swallow it's part of the job."
Police work depends a lot on trusting your partner. Kelly wouldn't trade his for the world.
"The fact that I'm fortunate enough to be able to work with an animal. I'm an animal lover. If I can catch bad guys at the same time, it makes it that much more enjoyable."