This is the first K-9 class completely instructed by Indiana State Police trainers Master Trooper Kevin Waters and Senior Trooper Mick Dockery, under the direction of Master Instructor Sgt. Dennis Wade, a former Putnamville trooper.
The dual-purpose dogs have more than 400 hours of training scenarios held in locations throughout central Indiana, including the Putnamville Correctional Facility and Pendleton State Penitentiary, National Guard armories and the Morgan County Fairgrounds.
Upon graduation from the 12-week course the dogs are certified in obedience control, narcotics, tracking, aggression control, evidence search, open-air search and building search.
The narcotic detection includes marijuana, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamines and ecstasy.
The four German Shepherds, which cost $5,500 each, were purchased in Michigan with funds donated to the ISP K-9 program.
Funding has been donated from a variety of sources throughout Indiana, including community foundations, prosecutor's offices and the Tony Stewart Foundation. The ISP K-9 program is self-supporting and does not rely on taxpayer support.
"We are extremely excited about the introduction of the in-house training of our K-9 program," Master Instructor Sgt. Wade said. "With this new asset we look forward to providing additional training to our current dogs and initiating training for future K-9s and their handlers."
The new handlers and K-9s and their assignments are:
-- Trooper Kyle Freeman and K-9 Smoke, District 52, Indianapolis.
-- Trooper Ryan Winters and K-9 Bosco, District 14, Lafayette.
-- Trooper Seth Rainey and K-9 Teague, District 35, Evansville.
-- Trooper Matt Wilson and K-9 Barrett, District 51, Pendleton.