The Brecksville Police Department K-9 unit is assigned to the Patrol Division. The K-9 team is a valuable component of the police department. The K-9 team is able to perform tasks that their human counterparts physically can not do. The K-9 team is trained and certified in narcotics detection, tracking, article search, building and area searches, handler protection and obedience. The K-9 Unit trains on a regular basis to maintain their skills at the highest level. The K-9 unit is often an ambassador for the police department at community functions and is always one of the most popular visitors at Brecksville’s Safety Town!
The Brecksville K-9 unit is composed of Patrolman Mike Bauman and K-9 Peto who have been together since October 2012. Ptlm. Bauman is a 13 year veteran of the police department. Peto is a German Shepard Dog imported from the Czech Republic. He was born on August 20, 2011 and arrived in the United States in August of 2012 to complete his police training at Excel K-9 Services. Peto weighs 75 pounds and is given his commands in Czech or by hand signals. When not working, Peto resides with Ptlm. Bauman.
Officers assigned to the K9 Unit
Patrolman Michael J. Bauman
Brecksville K9 in the news
The Brecksville Police Department’s second K-9 Unit consisted of current Police Chief Bill Goodrich and K-9 Sunny. This K-9 Unit began working together in March of 2007. Sunny was a German Shepard Dog born on 12/23/1999 in the Czech Republic. Sunny weighed 94 pounds and was given his commands in Czech or by hand signals. Sunny was trained in narcotics detection, tracking, article search, handler protection and obedience. Sunny was best known however for frequently visiting the schools and Safety Town with Chief Goodrich who at the time was the Department’s Juvenile/DARE Officer. Sunny retired after a long career and lived with Chief Goodrich until he passed away. RIP Sunny!
The Brecksville Police Department’s first K-9 Unit began on July 25, 1993 and consisted of current Detective Dave Hetrick and K-9 Andy. Andy was a German Shepard Dog born on March 16, 1992 in the Czech Republic. Andy weighed 75 pounds and was given his commands in German or by hand signals. Andy retired as a police K-9 on October 2, 2001. When Andy retired, he remained with Detective Hetrick until he passed away.
K-9 Fun Facts
Police K-9 units were first implemented in New York City and New Jersey in 1907
Dogs identify by scent first, then by voice, then by sight
German Shepards can search an area four times faster than a human
While German Shepards are still the most popular breed used for police work, many departments use other breeds for different tasks. Other breeds used for police work include: Belgian Malinois, Rottweiler, Labrador retriever and Blood Hounds.
While human beings possess about 5 million olfactory receptors in our noses, dogs by comparison have around 225 million olfactory receptors making their noses about 50 times stronger than ours! They also have a small gland that allows them to taste what they smell.
When dogs breathe air in through their nose a flap separates the incoming air. Part of the air goes in for respiration while the other part goes to the olfactory sensors. They have individual sections of the nose for each function. This allows them to detect individual odors at the same time. Humans just have one section for all functions of the nose.
What does all that mean? Think of it this way:
If we were given a cup of coffee, we might be able to smell if there is a teaspoon of sugar in it. A dog could smell a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water!
When we walk by a restaurant we might smell a hamburger cooking. A dog can smell the hamburger, bun, ketchup, mustard and onions!