The K-9 Unit for the St. Marys Police Department was recently re-established after a several year hiatus. The K-9 Unit is comprised of a single dual purpose patrol K-9 we know as Roki. Roki is a German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix that has been with our agency for a couple of months. Ofc. Stokes is Roki's handler and they are certified through the National Police K-9 Association to detect methamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, and heroin. He is also certified for tracking and article recovery.
The K-9 Unit has a desire to relate with the general public in a positive manner and maintain a professional image while consistently striving to increase the efficiency and productivity of the unit through continuous training. Just like our human officers, our K-9 is involved in routine training exercises to maintain his expertise and must recertify every year to demonstrate his proficiency in narcotics detection, article searches, and tracking. We anticipate adding a second K9 in September, 2021.
Although we have just one handler, there are several people behind the scenes that help with the unit. The K-9 Unit falls under the command of Lt. Gary Nichols, the Unifomr Patrol Command. Ofc. Stokes is specially trained to care for and utilize Roki to assist in criminal investigations. Ofc. Stokes assumes the responsibility as a dog handler in addition to his normal police duties. After completing the applicable K-9 officer training, K-9 officers are also engaged in the same continuous training to maintain their effectiveness in fighting illegal drug activity. In addition to law enforcement training, our K-9s are also effective in locating missing persons. On the other side, our K-9s are trained to behave and respond to human encounters that includes living with their human partners and their families.
When our K-9s and their partners are not out on patrol, you’ll find them participating in special presentations and school functions. Everyone loves our K-9s and they are instrumental in the effectiveness of the St. Marys Police Department.
Check out this video of K9 Roki that was taken during a festival downtown in early June 2021.