UT Police Add Bark to Its Bite with New K9 Officers
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - University of Tennessee Police Department has added a little more bark to its bite with new K9 officers, making a total of four in the department.
Chief Troy Lane said with safety on the front of peoples minds heading into football season these dogs make sure campus facilities are safe.
"We are constantly looking for way to increase our security posture," said Lane. "These large events, football game, we really start to prepare and lock down and securing the campus starting as early Thursday all the way to the end of the event on through Sunday morning, so that takes a lot of work a lot of effort and clearing a lot of building and physical space."
Three of the four K9 officers are only used to sniff out bombs. All of them are Belgian Malinlois.
But Bruno, a German shepherd from Germany has two jobs:
apprehension and finding drugs.
"He can outperform an officer, if it's a building search he can apprehend someone exponentially quicker than we could in a safe manner," said UT police officer and Bruno's handler, Jeffrey Quirin.
"He's with me 24/7 especially on patrols, I have a button on my belt and should I need him I just push the button and there's no doubt in my mind he will do whatever he can to protect him," he added.
The K9s and their handlers train every week around campus and with other local law enforcement. At the end of the day, officer Quirin and Bruno go home together.
"It's hard to describe, it's like a family but more, you're at work with him but you're also relying him on safety so it's just like combining personal life with work life and it's that much more of a bond between him and I," said Officer Quirin.
As pals and on patrol, these partners are committed to protecting everyone on campus.