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United States Police Canine Association Region 3
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Quarterly Patrol Dog Awards 2007
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MPO Barry Byers and K9 Rex
Greenbelt, MD Police Department

            On 11/01/2007 at approximately 1625 hrs, MPO Byers and his K9 partner Rex responded for a county wide “Signal 13”. A robbery victim had flagged down a Prince Georges County police officer at 67th Ave and Riverdale Rd near the East Pines Shopping Center. The officer got out of his car and approached the victim to assist, unaware that the suspect was still nearby. Shortly after exiting his vehicle, the officer took fire from the suspect. Because he immediately took cover, he did not see the suspect flee and could only give a general location where the shots came from. MPO Byers was requested to deploy Rex due to the extreme distance from which PG K9 Officers were responding. As incoming units established a perimeter, the PG County Helicopter provided air support.

            MPO Byers and K9 Rex searched for the track start in the area where the shots originated. K9 Rex located a track near 6700 67th Ave and discovered several spent shell casings behind a blue van parked on the street. Rex continued on the sidewalk up a hill along 67th Ave towards Patterson St. He tracked up a driveway to the East Dale apartment complex and then along the pavement to a dumpster. At the dumpster Rex began to air scent. Cover officers checked the area while Rex worked up a hill behind the dumpster towards a wooden privacy fence. The fence separated the apartments from a single family home neighborhood. Rex continued to air scent between the fence and the street until he reached the end of the fence line. He then reverted to tracking and entered the back yard of a home at 6700 Patterson St. At that point, the Prince Georges Helicopter advised they had a subject attempting to hide near a shed directly in front of the K9 team. The search team immediately took a position of cover on the 2/3 side of the house.

            MPO Byers made 2 loud canine announcements with no response. The yard contained two sheds so it was unclear which one the suspect had chosen as his hiding place. K9 Rex was released to locate the suspect. He immediately searched the first shed and then cut across the yard to the second, locating and engaging the suspect hiding underneath it. MPO Byers and the cover team approached and took the suspect into custody without further incident.

            MPO Byers requested that officers thoroughly check the area of the dumpster where Rex had shown interest. They located a .45 caliber semi-auto handgun under the dumpster that the suspect had discarded after shooting at the police.

                        This successful track was conducted on hard surface in an extremely high foot traffic area during early afternoon hours. Due to MPO Byers professionalism and diligence, he was able to conduct a difficult search coordinating multiple police agencies and air support over different radio channels. The excellent work of this team resulted in the apprehension of a dangerous felon and the recovery of a weapon used against the police and citizens of Prince George’s County.   



PO3 James Cibula and K9 OD
Montgomery County MD Department of Police

On September 15, 2007 at approximately 0015 hours, Police Officer III James Cibula and his K9 partner, OD, were dispatched to assist with a call for a wanted person in the 11900 block of Dalewood Drive, in Wheaton, Maryland.

The complainant that contacted the police stated that his male relative was in the rear of his residence attempting to contact his eleven year old daughter by throwing rocks at her bedroom window. The complainant also stated that his relative had an outstanding warrant for rape and second degree assault in which the eleven year old girl was the victim.

Officer Cibula arrived first at the scene and notified responding patrol officers that he would be deployed towards the rear of the residence in case the suspect fled the scene. Patrol officers converged in the rear yard of the residence and began to search for the suspect. Officer Cibula then observed the suspect run from the rear yard towards Veirs Mill Road. Officer Cibula gave a K9 warning but the suspect continued running. Patrol officers pursued the suspect on foot but then lost sight of him as he approached Veirs Mill Road.

Officer Cibula and K9 OD redeployed in the area where the suspect was last seen by the patrol officers and began to search the area. They were unable to locate the suspect in the immediate vicinity, and Officer Cibula returned to his vehicle and retrieved K9 OD’s tracking harness. Officer Cibula then initiated a yard-to-yard search in the area of Dalewood Drive and Veirs Mill Road.

Officer Cibula and K9 OD searched three yards and were in front of a fourth residence when K9 OD stuck his head under a white vehicle and alerted to the presence of the suspect who was hiding under the vehicle. The suspect refused to obey Officer Cibula’s commands to surrender. As a result, K9 OD was deployed and physically apprehended the suspect. The suspect was then turned over to detectives from the Family Crimes Division.

The efforts of Police Officer III James Cibula and his K9 partner, OD, lead to the capture of a wanted felon who victimized children.



DFC Jeremy Mothershed and K9 Kacey
Hartford County Maryland Sheriff's Office

On Saturday 26 May 2007 at about 0157 hrs Cpl Plumer and Deputy Kovacs were investigating a suspicious subject who had been seen walking towards the Riverside Texaco gas station. As the deputies approached the store the suspicious subject they were looking for exited the store, and, upon spotting the deputies, fled on foot running down an embankment alongside MD Rt 543. The deputies lost sight of the suspect and began to coordinate a perimeter while contacting the store clerk. The clerk advised that the suspect had just attempted to rob the store at gunpoint but had left when observing the approach of one of the deputy's cruisers.

Dfc Mothershed responded with K9 Kacey approximately 10 minutes later to attempt to track and locate the suspect. Dfc Denardi responded to provide cover with his patrol rifle, and the team started their track at the last known location of the suspect. K9 Kacey immediately established a track, which then crossed Rt 543 heading eastbound. This area is a four lane road with active vehicular traffic on it as it is a rest stop off of I-95, however, the traffic did not deter K9 Kacey's track. She led the team across a field and started to angle southbound, crossing Rt 7 heading towards the Riverside Shopping Center. Rt 7 is also 4 lanes wide at this point and is also active with traffic. K9 Kacey then tracked up a steep embankment and onto the parking lot of the Riverside Shopping Center.

K9 Kacey then began to track across the parking lot of the shopping center, angling towards the south east. As the team approached the back corner of the shopping center building near John's Hopkins Medical K9 Kacey began to air scent and started to growl, indicating that they were closing in on the suspect. As Dfc Mothershed and Dfc Denardi rounded the corner of the building they discovered the suspect attempting to hide under a set of metal stairs. Dfc Mothershed gave a K9 warning to the suspect and Dfc Denardi provided cover with his rifle. The suspect was very compliant with all commands given him and expressed fear of the dog, and was subsequently taken into custody by perimeter units that responded to the scene. Cpl Plumer then responded from the crime scene and confirmed the identity of the suspect, who was then placed under arrest for the incident.

A search of the suspect revealed that he had thrown away the gun used in the crime somwhere on his path of flight. Dfc Mothershed went back to the crime scene and started K9 Kacey on an article search, starting back at the gas station since the grass and brush was thickest there. After a few minutes of searching K9 Kacey was observed to lay down on the ground, her alert for finding an article. Dfc Mothershed responded over to Kacey and discovered, laying near her, a black handgun. The gun was subsequently taken into evidence by another deputy invovled in the case. The suspect arrested in this case was also most likely involved in several other store robberies in the county, and was just 2/10 of a mile from his residence when he was captured.


DFC Charles Zang and K9 Brik
Frederick County MD Sheriff's Office

On January 4, 2007 at 10:30 PM, Deputies of the Frederick County, MD Sheriff’s Office were sent to investigate a report of a suspicious person in a residential neighborhood of the County. The first unit on the scene asked for a Canine Team for a track.

Deputy First Class Charles Zang and K9 Brik arrived. He was told that an unidentified male had been seen tampering with several cars in the area. The suspect had left his bicycle in the driveway of one of the residences. The suspect had sat in a truck in the driveway. When he realized he had been discovered, he got out of the truck and fled on foot. He was last seen running into a backyard. DFC Zang was told that several neighbors had searched the yards looking for the suspect.

DFC Zang took his dog Brik to the truck and started a track. Brik left the truck and tracked into the backyard. He went through several yards and crossed driveways and sidewalks. DFC Zang and Brik entered another yard. In this yard, Brik kept casting about in different directions. DFC Zang found that this was the yard searched by the neighbors. The Canine Team went to the next yard and Brik picked up the track and continued. The track went to a six foot highway fence. The canine team worked around the fence and crossed the highway. The track went through underbrush and into a field. The track then went through another residential neighborhood and crossed more yards, driveways and sidewalks. The track then followed the shoulder of a highway. K9 Brik was not distracted by passing cars. A deputy ahead of the canine team found the suspect walking along the road. The track led right up to the location of the Deputy and the suspect. Witnesses positively identified the suspect and he was arrested.


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