Police dog to join Decatur Police
DECATUR — For well over 100 years, canines have been used for a wide variety of functions including search and rescue, drug intervention and explosives detection by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies around the world. Soon a new police dog will be added to the Decatur Police Department.
During the July 10 session of the Decatur City Council, Chief Joe Savage, with the Decatur Police Department, introduced Sgt. Ty Eggedreche and his police dog trainee Koda, a 4-year-old German shepherd. Savage asked the council to approve the police dog’s addition to the department as a narcotics and tracking dog.
The council was given a demonstration on the search procedures Eggedreche and Koda use to detect illegal drugs.
Before the meeting, Eggedreche hid containers filled with a small amount of four controlled substances for Koda to find. Once Eggedreche gave the command to search for the hidden substances, Koda began his search and took only 10 seconds to hit on each hiding place. After finding the narcotics, Koda sat down to alert Eggedreche he found illegal substances. Once he completed his task, he was rewarded with a rubber bone, his favorite toy.
Shortly after the demonstration, the city council voted unanimously to accept Koda as the newest member of the Decatur Police Department.
Before Koda enters service with the department, he must finish his Arkansas certification training which was expected to be done by July 17.
“This dog has to be certified in the State of Arkansas before we can actually start to use him,” said Savage. “We have been running him in the car with Sgt. Eggedreche because we wanted him to get accustomed to everyday routines.”
While riding with Sgt. Eggedreche on patrol, Koda stays in the air-conditioned patrol car. His role at the time is to get used to sitting in the seat behind his new partner. While in the car, Eggedreche uses police dog protocols to ensure Koda remains safe and healthy. These protocols include regular breaks for water, food and “other” needs.
Eventually, Koda will have additional duties.
“Right now, if certified, the dog will be used in narcotics and tracking,” said Savage. “He doesn’t have to have a certification as a tracking dog in Arkansas so we can use him as a tracker if the need arises.”
The cost to Decatur to have Koda certified and ready for service is $600, which the city is expected to recover from fines and forfeitures from drug arrests.
Koda (center) waits for his reward from his partner Ty Eggedreche after locating hidden narcotics during a demonstration for the Decatur City Council. The council voted to add Koda to the Decatur Police force as a narcotics enforcement officer.