Maitland City Talk

Meet Maitland's new K-9

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  • | 11:58 a.m. August 22, 2012
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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Introducing Bosco – Maitland Police Department’s K-9

What has two eyes, four feet, is covered with fur and has a badge? In this case it is Bosco, the Maitland Police Department’s newest K-9 dog. In 2009, the Maitland Police Department’s only K-9 retired after a long and productive career. Due to budget pressure, he was not replaced, and the department relied on assistance from other law enforcement agencies when a K-9 was needed. This frequently led to lengthy waits as the K-9 team had to travel from Winter Park, Seminole County, Orange County or Apopka. This is not the case anymore!

In 2012, using federal forfeiture funds and donations, a new K-9 was purchased along with all necessary equipment, including a fully equipped car. However, the first step in reinstituting an effective K-9 program was selecting a suitable K-9 handler. This is a critical position because the dog lives with the handler and their family 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

After a comprehensive review process, Officer Taylor Stitt, a six-year veteran with the department was chosen as Bosco’s human partner. After finding a handler, the selection process for the dog begins. The selection of a police K-9 is limited to only a few breeds, and the selection process is very rigorous as the right dog must be brave, obedient and have extraordinary drive.

The selection process led us to K-9 Bosco, a 2-year-old Dutch shepherd. A Dutch shepherd is a separate breed from a traditional German shepherd and is recognized as being extremely obedient, loyal, faithful and intelligent. While the breed may be slightly smaller in stature than German shepherds, they more than make up for the lack of size in their high-energy level and drive.

Bosco came to us all the way from the Netherlands, and was trained by a German so he is bilingual. It took a little time for Bosco to become fluent in English and to adapt to Florida’s warm climate. Before Bosco could be deployed as a working K-9, he and his handler attended more than 600 hours of training. This training includes area and building search techniques, officer protection, tracking, criminal apprehension and more than 200 hours of narcotic- detection training.

Bosco and Officer Stitt are nearing completion of this vigorous training and will be a state-certified team upon graduation on Aug. 31. They will begin working our city streets on Sept. 3. Bosco will be used to track suspects and missing persons, conduct building searches for suspects, apprehend criminals and detect drugs. Bosco is certified to detect cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, marijuana and ecstasy. Bosco’s ability to track and detect drugs is much more reliable than any human due to his extraordinary sense of smell, which is up to 30,000 times more sensitive than humans. This ability to smell and follow a scent is what makes Bosco such a good tracker and allows him to find missing persons or suspects over a considerable distance. Keep your eyes open beginning Sept. 3 and you may see Bosco and Officer Stitt as they begin patrolling our city streets in their new police K-9 car.

—Bill McEachnie

Deputy Chief of Police

Maitland Police Department

City Council Agenda of Aug. 27

City Council meets the second and fourth Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 27 in the Council Chambers, 1776 Independence Lane. Below is the agenda for that meeting.

Special Presentations

• Retirement Resolution – William McGovern, Engineer/EMT

• Special Recognition – Ed Hampden

• Special Recognition – Beth Yohe

• Proclamation – Base Camp – Sandy Bonus

• Proclamation – Love Pantry – Maitland Men’s Club

• Progress Energy – Tricia Johnson

Consent Agenda

• Approve Council Minutes of Aug. 13

• Approve Budget Workshop Minutes of Aug. 6

• City Hall Change Order

• Resolution – Quiet Zones

• Vehicle Replacement – Fire Engine

• Use of Contingency Funds for Unanticipated Legal Expense

• Agent of Record – Group Health & Other Employee Benefits

Decision Items:

• Resolution – Set Stormwater Rates for FY 2013

• CRA Interfund Borrowing

• General Fund Budget Draft

• Resolution - QTI Program – Project Polymer

Discussion Items:

• Overlay District for Billboards on Interstate 4

• Quiet Zones/One-way Streets

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