K-9 units visit Buckeye North

Photo Provided Local law enforcement K-9 units visited third-graders at Buckeye North Elementary School to talk about their four-legged partners and demonstrate their crime-fighting skills. Trooper Scott Bayless of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Cambridge Unit and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Reese Thompson were joined by their partners Alex and Kilo, as well as Sgt. Chris Vinci of JCSO and Deputy Rodney Roe, who also serves as school resource officer in the Buckeye Local School District. The visit concluded a reading project about a police officer and his K-9 partner.

BRILLIANT-Buckeye North Elementary has gone to the dogs as K-9 units from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio State Highway Patrol visited the school on Feb. 6.

Deputy Reese Thompson and Sgt. Chris Vinci of JCSO joined OSHP Trooper Scott Bayless of the Cambridge Unit and JCSO Deputy Rodney Roe, who serves as school resource officer for Buckeye Local Schools, with some four-legged crime fighters to speak to more than 30 third-graders about the roles the canine cops play in keeping the community safe. Deputy Thompson was on hand with his K-9 partner, Kilo, while Tpr. Bayless brought his partner, Alex. Officials answered questions from students ranging from training to the dogs’ strength and agility and said they were very helpful in serving the public.

Alex is a seven-year-old German Shepherd from Czechoslovakia while Kilo is a two-year-old Belgian Malinois from Holland. The officers said the dogs are at least 10 months old when they are paired up and they train together for 10 weeks before they go on the road. The partners spend more than 16 hours per month continuing their training sessions to hone their skills and the dogs primarily aid in detecting drugs and tracking people through scent, while they only respond to commands in their native language. The K-9 units performed a few demonstrations with the dogs using scent detection to locate hidden drugs and Sgt. Vinci donned a protective sleeve to showcase the apprehension of aggressive subjects.

“Training is never-ending,” said Tpr. Bayless.

“It’s very rewarding to see what the dogs can do,” said Deputy Thompson.

The visit comes on the heels of a class reading project, “Aero and Officer Mike,” which is a book about a K-9 unit. Teacher Erica Frye said a similar K-9 visit occurred two years ago and it gives students an opportunity to see the dogs up close.

“I thought it would be a nice visual to see the K-9 rather than just read about it,” she said, adding that she collaborated with fellow third-grade teacher Jenny Aubrey on the project.