Since 1995 the Erlanger Police Department has had the privilege of utilizing a K-9 unit within our ranks. We have a great tradition and much success with this program. Our first K-9 officer was a german shepherd named Dino whose partner was Officer Mike Leming. We then “hired” K-9 officer Joe as an additional K-9 officer. Jo was a black lab and was partnered with Officer Steve Caster. Jo became proficient as a search and rescue dog so he was transferred to the Erlanger Fire Department where he partnered with Fireman Terry Allen and was utilized all over the state of Kentucky. When Joe was retired from the police department and transferred to the fire department, we then got K-9 Arko who also partnered with Officer Steve Castor. When Dino retired we obtained K-9 officer Sombie who initially partnered with Officer Mike Leming. When Mike was promoted to Sergeant, Sombie then partnered with Officer David Lillich. Officer Lillich also partnered with our next K-9 Szalto who we obtained after Sombie’s and Arko’s retirements. When Officer Lillich retired, Szalto also retired. Officer Girdler was the next officer who requested a K-9 partner and we got Asco. Although Officer Girdler has been promoted to Sergeant, he still has maintained his partnership with Asco. We were fortunate this past year to obtain a grant to purchase another K-9 officer. We obtained Bodo who is partnered with Officer Michael Clark. After his six weeks of training in Pennsylvania, Bodo has followed the great tradition of our other K-9’s. On his first shift, Bodo made 2 drug “hits” on vehicles resulting in arrests for heroin and methamphetamine.
Other than Little Jo, all of our K-9 units have been german shepherds. They add another layer of protection to both our officers and the citizens of Erlanger and Crescent Springs.