By: Melanie Williamson
On Saturday, April 22, at Huggy’s Social House was the fundraising event, Coffee with a K-9, to raise money for the Vermilion police K-9 program. K-9 officer Miro and his handler Sergeant Scott Holmes coordinated the event and welcomed K-9 officers and their handlers from other departments to attend.
K-9 units from Perkins, Kelley’s Island, and the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department were there. During the event, each police K-9 was given the opportunity to mingle, while their handlers talked to the guests and answered a variety of questions.
Miro, like many other police K-9 officers, has a duel role here in Vermilion. His primary role is the detection of narcotics, and his secondary role is patrol work, searches, apprehensions, handler protection, and other K-9 officer duties. He was trained to detect the odor of marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and their derivatives, which may include pills and other drugs. Additionally, he conducts random drug sniffs within the schools twice a month.
During Miro’s time in Vermilion so far, he has assisted in several surrender arrests, foot patrols, and helped other area departments through mutual aid agreements. Miro has also served as an ambassador to the community. Sergeant Holmes and Miro regularly meet with community groups, the elementary school, and safety town to educate kids in the community of Miro’s role.
In order to stay prepared for anything that might come their way, Officer Holmes and Miro go through approximately six hours of training every week. In addition to narcotics, Miro is trained in search and apprehension. He is also trained to protect his handler, Sergeant Holmes. They train with both the Erie and Lorain County K-9 units. Miro is retested every 12 months to maintain his state certification as a K-9 officer.
The police K-9 program is supported by donations. This includes the ongoing training and equipment. If you would like to make a donation to support Miro’s training and work in the community, you can send your donation to: FOP #125 K9 Fund, P.O. Box 117, Vermilion, Ohio 44089. Sgt. Holmes has shared that if it wasn’t for the ongoing and generous donations; there would not be a K-9 program in Vermilion.