TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – For the past 10 weeks, Topeka Police Officer Josh Miller and his K9 partner Lobo have been training to hit the streets.
âHe looks like heâs gonna be this big, tough, mean dog,â Miller said. âAnd in reality, heâs just kind of a teddy bear in a way.â
Hours have gone into getting Lobo ready to be a narcotics police service dog for the TPD.
âItâs a long day-to-day. Day-to-dayâs really long for us,â Miller said. âHe stays with me, lives with me, weâre around each other 24/7.â
It all starts before the work day. Officer Miller and Lobo will go for a run at 6 a.m.
Then, itâs class time. Lobo goes through obedience sessions, patrol training, tactics, and detection exercises.
âWe bring in different narcotic odors. Weâll have stuff set up where we donât know where itâs at. My sergeant Mike Ahlstedt, he hid the drugs last week where only Mike knew where the drugs were at,â Miller said. âHeâd send us in there and weâd say, âHey, the dogâs indicating to this exact spot,â He goes, âYeah thatâs where the drugs are at,â and weâd be able to give the dog a toy for that and praise him for doing the right thing.â
Lobo is expected to be certified by Christmastime, where heâll serve a vital role to the department.
âHeâs the first one in there,â Miller said. âThese guys are able to sniff the seams of doors and, âHey I smell body odor in there,â and theyâll bark to that letting us know that the dog believes thereâs somebody behind this door. He can apprehend somebody thatâs a really bad person and we can say, ‘Hey, the dog did the least amount of damage compared to what this could have been. We didnât need to use lethal force.’â
Manâs best friend is known for being loyal, and that applies to the field, too.
âHe rides along the back of the car, you know your back upâs 10 seconds away. I can stop the car, my back-upâs right there in my car,” Miller said. “We can get him out, he can help me out whateverâs going on. Another officer, his backup may be 30 seconds to a minute away.â
TPD currently has three K9s in service. Lobo and three others will join them in just a few weeks.