BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – The Blue Springs Police Department is pleased to announce that their newest K-9 Unit are officially on active duty beginning this week. Bandit and his handler, Officer Weston Kendall recently completed the specialized K-9 training necessary to be cleared for active duty.
Officer Kendall is a seven year U.S. Air Force veteran and was a K-9 handler with the Air Force. Bandit will be a dual-purpose K-9 officer, being used for narcotics detection and handler/patrol protection. The department purchased Bandit with the assistance of an $11,500 grant provided by the Rotary Club of Blue Springs.
“K-9 units provide direct patrol responses in both retail areas and residential neighborhoods, ensuring that Officers and residents are safe in response to crimes in progress,” Blue Springs Police Chief Wayne McCoy said. “Additionally, their use in locating missing persons, tracking escaped suspects or locating illegal drugs is a cost-effective way to ensure community safety. During his training, Bandit has already assisted the department by participating in the search for a young runaway child who was found unharmed. We greatly appreciate the support of the Rotary Club of Blue Springs and Blue Springs City Council in addressing this important need.”
The new K-9 Unit joins Urich, and his handler, Officer Robert Unruh who previously served as the Blue Springs Police Department’s only K-9 team. The original K-9 team was made possible by a Federal grant in September 2006.
“Now that Bandit and Officer Kendall have completed their training, we will be able to have a K-9 Unit on duty every day,” said Blue Springs Sergeant Don Rapp. “This is a great asset to the police department, and to the Blue Springs community.”
A K-9 team consists of a police dog and handler that is specifically trained to assist in law enforcement operations. In many cases, K-9s are able to go into places that are dangerous for the officer. Using their keen sense of smell, eyesight, and hearing, dogs are more effective in these roles than a human.
For more information on the Blue Springs K-9 Units, call Sergeant Don Rapp at (816) 220-4579.