K9 officers stay warm despite the elements


The winter chill is in the air, but that doesn’t stop law enforcement from patrolling our streets.

Rain, snow, high winds, and heat don’t stop K9 officer Declan and his handler Private First Class Garrett Pugh who work full time in Wheeling, especially because Declan is the only explosives detection dog on the force.

Officer Pugh says there are many options to make sure K9 officers stays safe in the cold weather.

Declan wears a bullet and stab proof vest while on duty, but he can wear a coat to stay extra warm.

Officer Pugh says Declan also wear boots to protect his paws, but he doesn’t like them very much.

The cruiser has a detection system that alerts an officer about the temperature inside the car to make sure Declan doesn’t get overheated or too cold.

“We have sensors in our car that monitor the temperatures all the time, if it gets too hot it will set off an alarm, our horns will go off, our sirens will go off and then we each have pagers that we carry on us that way if we’re in the building in court or wherever those will vibrate and will let us know that the cars getting too hot so we can come and turn up the air conditioning or turn down the heat,” said officer Pugh.

The goggles Declan wears help him see in the snow, rain, and high wind.

Officer Pugh adds that sometimes the cold air can tamper with the dogs skills and wind and snow may trick a K9 officer into thinking a scent is somewhere that it is not, that’s where the handler’s training comes into play.

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