NDSP implements new K-9 program

first_imgNotre Dame Security Police (NDSP) implemented a K-9 program this semester to add another layer of security to its operations.The two black Labrador retrievers who were recently added to the police department — 3-year-old Skeet and 18-month-old Toxi — are NDSP’s first security dogs, Clark said. Clark is Skeet’s handler, while security officer Jarret Gilpin is Toxi’s handler.“I believe it’s pretty much an innovative thing,” Clark said. “We made the choice so we’d have another layer of security. The way the world is changing, people are exploding things — today’s suicide bombers, the Boston marathon run [and] what happened there. And you know, it’s easier for the dogs to detect explosives than it is for us with their sense of smell.”NDSP’s efforts to ensure safety during home football games was one of the driving factors that lead the department to implement a K-9 program, deputy chief Stephan Smith said.“We did our research and found that this is some of the best technology that’s out there, and it’s definitely a direction we wanted to go,” he said. “It’s important to say there is no imminent threat to Notre Dame or our community at this time. However, we just felt that this is something worth investing in because, you know, everybody’s safety — not only on game day but every single day here on campus — is our priority.”Clark said Toxi and Skeet are “vapor wake dogs,” which means they have been trained to detect explosives. The dogs underwent intensive training for about three months, Gilpin said.“ … Probably out of 100, two dogs had the qualities and stuff like that of a vapor wake canine that they were looking for,” Gilpin said. “They have high independence and a high drive and stuff like that, so [Toxi’s] been training since she was like 3 months [old] or so, I believe.”Though he has worked for NDSP for 27 years and seen three proposals for a K-9 program, Clark said Toxi and Skeet are the department’s first security dogs. Clark said the new K-9 program has been “a dream come true” for him.“My dad actually trained dogs in Compton, California, in the ’70s,” Clark said. “He was a carpenter, so he started training dogs to watch the property out after he had repaired it. He’s always had a love for dogs, so I guess that I got the fever, too.“So I’ve been involved in training them for a very long time — in obedience, in protection. To me, it’s like I’m not even working anymore. I’m just enjoying myself.”Clark said the dogs have contributed to a new routine within the police department.“If there’s any special events going on, they like for us to work the special events,” he said. “When dignitaries come, we will probably sweep the building they’re in before they return. We kind of do our lock-up differently now.”Gilpin added that since they have only been working with the dogs for about seven weeks, he and Clark are still adjusting to the changes.“We’re still learning and they’re still learning,” he said. “They’re from Alabama and now they’re in Indiana, and it’s just kind of a different atmosphere for them. I’m looking forward to seeing [Toxi] in snow because she probably hasn’t seen snow yet.”One of the biggest challenges to integrating the dogs into the police department is getting to know their personalities, Gilpin said.“Each dog is different. My issues are different than [Clark’s],” he said. “They’re similar but different. Each dog is a different personality. It’s getting used to where we work together better. We’ve only worked together for seven weeks.”Clark described Skeet as “an eager beaver” who enjoys work, while Gilpin said Toxi was “very playful and loving.”“When it comes time to work, she works, but it’s just one of those things where her personality is, ‘Hey, let’s play,’” Gilpin said of Toxi. “She wants to play tug-of-war, loves playing fetch like any other dog. She’s just very affectionate.”Students should not be afraid of the dogs, Clark said, as they are not aggressive.“Their basic job is to protect the University,” he said. “If you see us, you’ll notice they’ll smell garbage cans. Because they’re vapor wake dogs, they’ll hit on the backpacks and if they hit on it, they’re smelling it — their job is to make sure there isn’t explosives there.”The dogs have served as great outreach tools in the community, Smith said, and NDSP would like to continue to use the dogs to connect with people across campus.“You know, if somebody says, ‘Hey, I’m having this event, and it’d be nice to have one of the NDSP canines and the handler there,’ we’d love to do that,” he said. “We’d love to find new ways to connect with our community.”last_img read more

Martinez relaxed over Barry future

first_img “It (speculation with other clubs) doesn’t change anything. I trust him implicitly,” said the Toffees boss. “He has incredible human values. He’s a person who needs to make footballing decisions. “He’s enjoyed an incredible career and is in a position that he can choose where his football happiness is going to be. “From the beginning Gareth was a massive target of ours: he was available in the summer for other clubs and he decided to come to Everton. “We did everything to bring him to the club and the relationship was to make sure he could go back to his very best, enjoy his football and have a big role at Everton. “We were very clear with what we wanted from Gareth – to put him in an environment where he could be important, we could use his experience and he could enjoy his football. That was always the case for this season. “Our agreement was in the summer we would sit down and it would be a question of what is best for Gareth.” Defeat at White Hart Lane on Sunday was only Everton’s fourth in the league and on the three other occasions they have bounced back with a victory and Martinez expects a similar response at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday. The 32-year-old’s impressive form at Goodison Park, having been deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester City, has started to attract interest from other clubs with Arsenal the latest to be linked. But while Martinez believes Barry is playing well enough for an England recall, he is confident there is no need to bring forward planned talks on the player’s future ahead of a summer when he will become a free agent. Everton manager Roberto Martinez trusts midfielder Gareth Barry to make the right call when his loan spell expires at the end of the season. “There is a real unity in the dressing room which is wrapped up with incredible character and great tenacity,” he said. “There is a difference between performing badly and needing another game to perform well – this is not the case as we performed really well at the weekend and we didn’t get what we deserved. “It is another test for us to react. The character and the personality of this dressing room has never been in doubt, it is one of the biggest strengths we have.” Martinez plans to give on-loan Monaco striker Lacina Traore, who arrived last month with a hamstring injury, his debut from the bench. “Lacina is progressing really well and I didn’t expect him to be available just yet but it is just giving him match-fitness,” he added. “I think he will be involved somehow but he is not ready for 90 minutes. “He will have a massive role to play in our final games so it is giving him the opportunity to be on the pitch at the right time.” Meanwhile, Tony Pulis believes Crystal Palace’s survival fight is about continuing momentum, keeping calm and focusing on themselves rather than being concerned by the other clubs fighting to stay in the Barclays Premier League. Pulis takes the Eagles to Everton after accumulating 19 points from his first 13 Premier League games in charge to lift his side out of the drop zone and towards the safer end of a congested bottom half of the table. With 13 fixtures remaining Palace require 14 points to reach the 40-point barrier so often associated with Premier League safety. “We took over in a very difficult situation and the run that we’ve been on has been absolutely fantastic,” said Pulis, who was appointed Ian Holloway’s successor in November. “But it’s only taken us three points above the relegation zone. We have to maintain that. “It’s probably going to go right to the wire. If you get 40 points you’ve got a massive chance of staying up. “There’s 10, 12 clubs involved in it. It’s just keeping your nerve. “It’s playing every game and if you win a game and pull away a little bit, don’t get carried away; if you lose a couple of games and you get dragged in, don’t get too down and too despondent. “We’ve got to fight and scrap to get over that line – we’ll do that. “I’m not concerned about what other people are doing. I’m just concentrating on what I can affect – and that’s the players I’ve got and the team I manage.” Pulis made some shrewd signings in the transfer market last month and saw two of them score in Saturday’s defeat of West Brom, when Tom Ince and Joe Ledley netted on their debuts. “The big worry is that they don’t hit the ground running,” added Pulis, who has no fresh injury concerns. “In the position we haven’t got a lot of time for them to settle in. “It’s nice that Joe and Incey scored and Scott (Dann) played in a winning team. We’re pleased.” Press Associationlast_img read more