Taking a bite out of crime: Glasgow Police Department’s K-9 Unit leading to more arrests, safer community

GLASGOW, Ky. – So far, Joe is already leaving a good impression at his new job.

Joe is the newest member of the Glasgow Police Department. He’s got four legs and one incredibly well-honed sniffer.

“It definitely makes the shift better,” said Glasgow Police Officer John Warnock, Joe’s ‘partner.’ “He’s somebody I can talk to when I’m riding down the road.”

People often say dogs are a man’s best friend.

Turns out, they might also be a policeman’s best friend, too.

“They’re an officer just like we are,” said Sgt. Terry Flatt. “Any time he gets out here at the [police department], [Officer Warnock] gets him out, gives him water, gets him exercise, and puts him back in the cruiser and he goes along with the officers.”

K-9 Joe is a 3-year-old black labrador retriever, the second canine to join the department’s K-9 unit.

“They serve as a really good deterrent for crime because people know they’re out there,” Warnock said. “It kind of is always in the back of their mind when they’re doing something illegal that there is a K-9 out there. If they run, the K-9 will find them.”

Joe joins Zeke as part of the team at the department, even though both dogs have different demeanors, Flatt said.

“We added the second K-9 to give us a dog that will be available to the community 24/7,” he added.

Unlike Zeke, Joe is trained in finding narcotics and  tracking.

“He’ll work back and forth until he pinpoints where the drug is,” said Warnock of Joe’s tracking capabilities. “When he has a marked change in behavior is when I know he’s finding something.”

The K-9 unit was created at the department two years ago, and it’s proven to be very beneficial to the well-being of the Glasgow community.

“Our arrests have been up since we had just the one K-9, so we expect with the addition of the second unit to be able to help getting more narcotics off the street,” Flatt said.

The community isn’t the only thing to benefit from these dogs’ presence – the officers love it, too.

“It’s a great thing when you get to go to work with somebody or something that’s like [Joe],” Warnock said.