The Southlake Police Department hosted a 4-day K9 training course at our state-of-the-art DPS North Training facility this week. Officers from eight north Texas cities attended and included one officer from Germany. The course focused on training officers to become “Decoys” for the K9 handlers and their K9 partners.
The officers received hands-on training with one of the best instructors in the United States, Franco Angelini from K9 Bite Dr. Angelini, a former military officer and K9 handler with the U.S. Army, has also trained officers and their K9 partners internationally from England to Australia.
During the 4-day training, each Officer received hands-on instructions on how to properly decoy for the K9 teams so that they are better prepared to react in real-life situations when subduing aggressive and/or violent suspects. The decoys were outfitted in canine bite suits and arm sleeves to experience the strength of the K9’s and how the animal responds to verbal cues. These K9s are a special breed of animal. They are docile when at home with their handler and his family but when it’s time to go to work, their K9 demeanor shifts and they know it’s “go time.”
Southlake K9 Officer Nate Anderson, and his partner Duco, have worked very well together over the past year and a half. The pair have found drugs during numerous traffic stops and assisted in tracking down suspects who have fled officers. Anderson says, “We train for those high stress situations. We want our K9 partners to be as prepared to face dangerous situations as we are. They are also invaluable in helping to get illegal drugs off the streets.” Anderson adds, “The goal is to prepare the K9 for police work and to help build their confidence so they are comfortable in real-life situations.” The K9s are also utilized to assist with locating lost elderly persons or children.
Officers who attended the K9 decoy training included officers from: Carrollton, River Oaks, Mansfield, Watauga, Grand Prairie, three K9 military officers from Oklahoma, and an officer from the British Army. Each officer left with the skills and knowledge necessary to properly decoy for their agency’s K9 Unit(s).
It’s easy to see how K9 Officers and their K9 partners share a special bond that is built on trust and a healthy respect for each other’s capabilities. K9 Officer Nate Anderson and his partner Duco work hard, but they also make time for special community events like National Night Out, coming up on October 1, and visiting area schools. Kids love seeing Duco and Officer Anderson and learning about the work that they do.
To see more pictures and videos of this weeks K9 training, please visit our DPS Facebook page @SouthlakePublicSafety.
This week, the Southlake Police Department was able to celebrate promotions of five employees.
“In a time where our profession has suffered tremendous loss and is still grieving, it was nice to be able to share this exciting moment with our officers” said Police Chief James Brandon.
Chief Brandon continued to say, “These promotions represent the future of this department and we look forward to seeing these leader’s contributions to the relationships we have with our citizens.”
Please join the department as we welcome the following employee’s to their new rank:
Please welcome our newest police officers, Malik Abdullah and Delaney Rhoades. They are both currently in FTO training. Malik was raised in Dallas and is the first person in his family to become a police officer. Malik said, “I wanted to become a police officer to make a difference in the world.” Malik also attended classes at UNT. He is married to his lovely wife Clarissa and has a 5-month-old son named Kaiser. Malik enjoys boxing and has trained in MMA – Mixed Martial Arts.
Delaney Rhoades is also the first in her family to become a police officer. She completed her degree in Finance/Accounting at the University of Nebraska and worked in that field before deciding she wanted to fulfill her dream of becoming an officer. She took the PACT test and was offered several jobs at several agencies but choose to make her home with the Southlake Police Department. Delaney says, “There was just something about Southlake, the atmosphere and culture that made it feel like the best decision for me. It seemed to have the right balance of crime and community policing that I had been looking for in a police department.” She is engaged and is set to marry her finance’ Mike on May 31st in Omaha, Nebraska. She and Mike are both avid “gym-rats” including rock-climbing and crossfit training. No wonder they met at the gym. We welcome you both to the SLPD family!
The recently hired School Resource Officers are completing their training this week as they prepare to step into their new roles as SRO’s when classes begin at Carroll ISD on August 26th. Nine officers in total will join the three full time SRO’s that are already on staff with the Southlake Police Department. Each officer will be assigned to one of the twelve schools at CISD.
The process of selecting the top candidates for the job began earlier this year following a recommendation by a safety and security task force headed up by Southlake Mayor John Terrell. Other task force members include: Carroll School Board President Read Ballew, SPARK representative and Southlake City Councilwoman Laura Hill, Southlake Police Chief Steve Mylett as well as state, and federal law enforcement officials. The task force was created following the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut.
Southlake Police Chief Stephen Mylett says, “We sought out and hired the ‘best of the best’ for our parents and students and our community. The officers that have been selected are experienced, seasoned officers who have advanced TCLEOSE or Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. Chief Mylett says, “The role of our SRO’s will add another layer of safety and security to our schools and also help provide support and encouragement to Carroll ISD students. It’s about helping to create an environment where kids can learn and thrive and feel safe doing it.”
The enhanced SRO program will be funded primarily through the Crime Control and Prevention District; a voter approved local sales tax allotment that funnels 1/2 cent of every sales tax dollar into a fund designated for safety and security initiatives. The City’s general fund will also contribute towards the program’s costs.
About 30 officers from surrounding cities also attended the School Resource Officer training course that was held at DPS. The new SRO’s are Frank LaGrassa, Cheryl Womack, Ken West, Matthew Petrie, Richard Gallaway, Bob Slusser. Welcome aboard. (*Pictured—SRO’s and Sgt. Randy Baker ‘far right front row’ who will be overseeing the SRO program.)
The Southlake Police Department will hold its third Town Hall meeting on Monday, November 12, 2012 as part of our continuing efforts to help educate parents about potential drug and alcohol problems among teenagers. Hundreds of parents and teachers attended the first two Town Hall meetings held in October and both events provided valuable information and resource material including: a look at some of the typical drugs of choice for teens; the average age for a first time user of drugs and alcohol; and presentations by a panel of experts including members of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), educators and Southlake Police Chief Stephen Mylett.
Parents asked a lot of great questions and were given tips on what to look for if they suspect a child is experimenting with drugs or alcohol. They were also shown some of the typical abbreviations that teens might use when “talking in code” to their peers on computers and social media websites. The information was very enlightening to parents who came away from the Town Hall meetings better educated and equipped to spot the warning signs of drug and alcohol abuse and/or dangerous behavior early on. “Our Police Department and School Resource Officers are committed to working together with parents and educators in taking proactive measures to help curb drug and alcohol abuse among teens in Southlake,” said Police Chief Stephen Mylett. He added, “Drug and alcohol abuse is prevalent in every city and town across the country and it is our goal to take a leadership approach in protecting our teens and helping families who are struggling with this very serious issue.”
The next Town Hall meeting will give parents an opportunity to hear from the District Attorney’s Officer about the legal implications for you and your child if your child does get into trouble. The meeting will also allow parents the opportunity to meet and get to know members of our Police Department and our School Resource Officers. The SRO’s will talk about their role in the Carroll ISD school system and also provide insight into the kinds of problems they experience on a daily basis as School Resource Officers. The SRO’s work with teachers and students and know first-hand some of the major issues and concerns facing students and teachers today. This is third and final Town Hall meeting for the year and we hope everyone who has a vested interest is able to make it out. The School Resource Officers are people that parents need to know. They know your kids, your kid’s friends and they know a lot about teen culture right here in Southlake. They are your number one resource for every parent in Southlake.
(Students and Parents Against Risks to our Kids)
WHEN: Monday, November 12, 2012
TIME: 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Carroll High School (White Chapel Lecture Hall)