By Melanie Williamson
Sgt. Scott Holmes and K9 Miro spend hours every week training for every possible situation they may encounter on the job. On Wednesday, August 22, the Vermilion Police Department K-9 Unit had the honor of once again participating in the Lorain County Fair K-9 Demonstration alongside the K-9 Units of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office. This is a fun opportunity for the K-9 units to interact with the public and show off their skills. This demo is carefully choreographed to highlight the abilities and specialized training of the K-9 Handlers and their Partners.
Sgt. Holmes shared that he is often asked why handlers refer to their police dogs as their “Partners.” “We do this because these special dogs are our partners…we depend on them and they depend on us. It is a special bond that is very difficult to describe unless you have been a K-9 Handler.”
While the demonstrations are a fun and educational opportunity, the continuous training is to prepare both the K-9s and their handlers for real-world situations. On Sunday, September 2, Holmes and Miro had to put their training to the test when they were called in for a mutual aid request.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) contacted the Vermilion Police Department at 10:50 a.m. to request a K-9 assist to track down and apprehend two suspects who had led the OSHP Troopers on a vehicle pursuit. Both suspects had felony warrants and while it was unclear if they were armed, they had a history of violent tendencies.
The vehicle pursuit ended on Oberlin Elyria Road. The suspects then fled the vehicle on foot into the nearby brush and woods. A perimeter was immediately set and an OSHP airplane stationed above the scene to assist. The OSHP Special Response Team and Border Patrol responded to the scene while Lorain County Sherriff’s Office Units also assisted with perimeter control.
K-9 Miro and Sgt. Holmes deployed for a track from the area of the suspect vehicle and tracked the suspects into the woods with the SRT Team. K-9 Miro tracked approximately 200 yards to a construction debris pile. The suspects were located in the pile, attempting to hide amongst the rubble. The suspects were taken into custody without incident.
The ability of K-9 Miro and Sgt. Holmes to end a potentially dangerous situation without injuries to either the suspects or law enforcement demonstrates the value and importance of having a K-9 Unit. It benefits both Vermilion Police Department and surrounding communities when responding to mutual aid requests.