Thanks to an anonymous benefactor, a gift from an Ardmore Police Department captain and the efforts of three officers, a trio of new canines have joined the patrol division roster.,
APD Chief Ken Grace said for the first time the department has a full-staff of canines thanks to the generosity of an anonymous benefactor.
“We had a supporter contact us, wanting to contribute to something we needed. We said what we needed were enough dogs to staff all three shifts. Capt. Keith Ingle, who is a CLEET certified canine instructor and state canine certifier, had recently donated a dog he had trained. So the goal was to find a way to purchase two additional dogs. The supporter was willing to make a contribution that not only allowed us to purchase the two additional dogs
but also fund the expenses of canine academy training for all three dogs and the officers selected to serve as K-9 handlers,” Grace said.
“We are very appreciative of this gift. It’s nice to have citizens who want to get involved and help the department better serve the citizens of Ardmore.”
Ingle, who had already donated Boss, a 3-year-old German Shepherd he obtained from the Air Force, was assigned the task of finding the other two dogs that would make up the APD canine team. “I made several trips to various towns in Oklahoma as well as Texas and Arkansas. I found the two we ultimately purchased in Arkansas — Ragnar, who the donor renamed Marshal, is a 1 1/2-year-old Malinois and Lucky, who was renamed Diesel, is a 2-year-old German Shepherd,” Ingle explained.
“All three dogs are sociable, meaning while they are not for people to come up and pet they are amicable, and all three are dual purpose, which means they can detect narcotics and they are trackers and can be used for apprehension. Boss is a scent discernment tracker. The other two are ground trackers.”
But finding the right dogs for the APD wasn’t the only search taking place. Ingle said the department  also searched for the right officers willing to take on the extra responsibilities associated with having of a canine partner.
“We have routine training sessions, but in order for a handler and dog to work really well together they need to spend extra hours — lots of extra hours — on their own training,” Ingle said, explaining the call went out throughout the department seeking applicants for the three K-9 officer posts.
“We had a good group of candidates. Each officer was asked for a resume’ that included why they wanted to be a handler. Then there was an oral interview process. One of the biggest qualities a K-9 officer has to have is the ability to be proactive rather than reactive and be able to look for uses for their dog.”
Jared Johnson was selected as Boss’ handler. Dylan Davis was assigned to Ragnar/Marshal and Cody Garrett was paired with Lucky/Diesel. The three handlers and their dogs recently graduated from the K-9 academy in Arkansas and passed their certifications on June 1.
Shortly after receiving their certifications the three officers talked about the reasons they sought the K-9 post.
“When I was in Afghanistan, I developed a strong interest in the bomb dogs and how they worked and trained. That just naturally led to my interest in law enforcement canines,” Johnson said.
Asked to describe one outstanding trait his new partner has Johnson said, “Boss likes to find dope.”
Davis said he has always enjoyed dogs and having dogs as part of his family.
“I like working with dogs. This was a good opportunity for me to combine my love of dogs with my career. It’s also a good opportunity to advance my career at the APD,” he said.
What is it about Ragnar/Marshal that makes him a standout?
“He loves to find narcotics and he loves suspect apprehension,” Davis said.
Garrett said being selected as Lucky/Diesel’s handler was bonus.
“I like police work and I also like working with dogs so putting the two together pretty much makes it my super job,” Garrett explained.
And, his new partner’s best attributes?
“He is very athletic. He’s smart. He’s sociable and he likes his job.”
Ingle said the three new K-9 officers and their dogs have already proven their dedication to their new roles.
“I’m very proud of their efforts. Not only for going through the process but the effort of graduating from the academy and attaining certification. They are back on the patrol schedule and ready to hit the streets,” Ingle said.