BUFFALO, N.Y. — For years, the Buffalo Police K9 training facility on Louisiana Street was unused and in a state of disrepair, but over the past several years, the dog handlers worked with the city to spruce things up.
The city fixed the roof of the building on the premises and restored water service. The officers helped — sometimes off duty — to fix what needed to be done so they could train their dogs there once again.
For many years, if the K9 officers wanted to train or condition their dogs, they had to take them to other facilities.
They installed new obstacles for their dogs: a six foot high wall for them to jump over, a tunnel, and other things to simulate windows, walls, and fences — similar to obstacles they would face during searches, raids, and other police work.
The Buffalo Police Department has six police dogs: Caesar, Destro, Georgie, Hydro, Shield, and Thor.
Shield is named for Officer James Shields who was killed in the line of duty in October 2002.
All of the dogs are trained to track, search buildings, apprehend suspects, and protect their human partners. Two of them are also trained to detect explosives. The other four are trained to sniff out drugs.