Police Unveil Motorcycle, Canine Units

Contact: Kathy Johnson

Photo of Officer Robert Turner and Becka
Becka and Officer Robert Turner

Photo of UK Police motorcycle
UK Police motorcycle

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 23, 2004) -- An explosives’ detection dog and a motorcycle detail are the latest in the University of Kentucky Police Department’s additions to address safety and security on campus.

The UK Police Department recently became only the second university in the country to receive an explosives detection dog from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. UKPD received the dog and training for its handler, Officer Robert Turner, at no cost to the department.

“The ATF selects different police agencies to receive dogs and training with the stipulation that the handler must adhere to strict guidelines and be available when the ATF may require assistance on a national level,” said UK Police Chief Fred Otto. “I am very proud that UK was chosen for this program.”

Turner and the16-month-old black Labrador named Becka attended an intensive 10-week training program at the United States Customs and ATF canine training facility in Front Royal, Va.

“Having the bomb-detecting dog will allow us to respond better and quicker to threats, and we plan to use her at high security events such as football games at Commonwealth Stadium,” UK Police Major Joe Monroe said.

UKPD also added two motorcycles to its vehicle fleet for the first time. Lt. Bill Webb and Officer Bob Pearl attended a two-week police motorcycle operator training class offered by the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety in Des Moines, Iowa in August.

“This is one of the most physically and mentally challenging law enforcement training courses in the world,” said Monroe. “Less than eight hours of the 80-hour program was spent in the classroom, and the vast majority of time actually was spent on the motorcycle learning various skills and maneuvers.”

Monroe said the motorcycles are a good complement to the vehicle fleet. “They offer more versatility than the cruisers and more speed than the bicycles. The motorcycles will be used mainly during evening patrol hours.”


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