K-9 "Officer" Qai

 



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Elm Grove Police Department K-9
  
               
   
General Facts:
K-9 Officer formal name:  QAI VOM SCHAFER SEE
  
                        
Working name:  “QAI”  (pronounced “Ky”)
                            Birth date:
  January 10, 1999, Lawrence, Michigan
                            Breed:  German Shepherd, Male,
                            Color:  Distinguished Black & Tan markings

  
                    Weight: 72 lbs.
  
                    Top speed:  Sprints at nearly 30 m.p.h.  

The beginning… 

The Elm Grove Police Department’s K-9 unit was officially established on May 29, 2001 with a formal “swearing-in” ceremony in the Board Room.  Many officials and residents of the community were on hand to witness for the first time, Captain Gus Moulas take the oath of office on behalf of his new police canine partner.  This important ceremony made it official, that “Qai” Vom Schafer See, is to be recognized as an official member of the Elm Grove Police Department as a police canine.  This distinction enables certain protections and exceptions under both Wisconsin State Law as well as Village Ordinance.  Qai becomes the Departments 19th “sworn officer”.  Chief Haig presented Qai with his specially designed badge.  Qai wears this badge at all times while he is performing his law enforcement duties.  His handler wears a special black and gold K-9 insignia on his uniform as well.  

Cost to the taxpayer? 

The K-9 unit development was approved by the Village Board, however, may not have been financially possible without the extraordinary and significant private donation from one Elm Grove family.  The private funds made it possible to purchase the fully trained canine; majority of the training equipment; specially equipped and dedicated police K-9 vehicle with heat detection safety and bail-out electronics; bullet resistant vest, protective reflective tracking vest; uniforms for the handler; food; veterinary care; and miscellaneous support supplies.  Private donations from citizens and business leaders are always appreciated so that we may continue this valuable program for our community for years to come.  Additional expenses from year to year will come from replacement of training gear, training programs, veterinary care and food. 

Where did Qai come from? 

Qai was acquired in January of 2001 from Steinig-Tal Kennels (STK), LLC, in Campbellsport, Wisconsin.  STK is owned and operated by Larry & Sandee Filo.  They specifically import, breed, and train German Shepherd dogs for police work and have been in business since 1978.  Over 70 police K-9 teams are certified and working for various law enforcement and correctional centers throughout the State.

After long research on police canines and training kennels throughout the United States, STK was eventually selected because of their reputation in the law enforcement canine community and accreditation through the Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin.  Additionally, the close proximity of this kennel and training facility makes for recurrent monthly and annual certification more efficient and effective for the K-9 team.  In most cases, STK acquires German Shepherd dogs directly from Germany or breeds German Shepherd dogs here in the Unites States from bloodlines that are directly from European heritage.  Qai was born on January 10, 1999 in the United States at Schafer Lake Kennels in Lawrence, Michigan.  He was bred from two imported champion line European (German and Czechoslovakian) German Shepherd dogs.  He has the distinct German Shepherd black and tan markings.   

How did Qai become selected for Elm Grove PD? 

Prior to the final acquisition of Qai, STK  “loaned” him to his prospective handler, Captain Gus Moulas, on December 23, 2000 for a short period of time.  This was an opportunity for the handler to evaluate Qai in an environment other than the training facility.  Qai was able to stay with the handler and later visit his potential “work-place”.  It is also very important for STK to properly match up the specially trained canine with the appropriate police officer handler.  As it turned out, Qai seemed to be a very good fit for his handler, the Department, and community he would eventually work for.   Once it was decided that Qai would be the specific canine for the Department, he was allowed to remain living with the handler so that the very important bonding process could begin.  While Qai was able to remain living with his handler, they would commute to the kennel for training.  Because Qai was a fairly young dog entering police service, he was receiving additional police training until the start of the Basic Canine Training Course in the Spring of 2001.  

What type of training does the police canine team undergo? 

The Basic Canine Training Course is 4 weeks (160 hour) in length and is an accredited training program through the Fox Valley Technical College.  The handler and his K-9 partner perform extensive training exercises on topics such as canine obedience; article searching; field searching; courtroom testimony and 4th amendment considerations; obstacle course training; crowd control; and techniques for apprehension and pursuit.  There are also written tests that must be completed by the handler.  Upon successful completion of this training program, the K-9 team is awarded with a certificate from Fox Valley Technical College.  To receive certification, the K-9 team must perform very strict standards that have been developed by STK and adopted by the college.  These standards are also very similar to standards set forth on a national level and recognized throughout the country for police canine teams. 

Training is an on going and never ending process.  To maintain all of Qai’s abilities to perform well in the law enforcement environment, monthly training is conducted both at the department and periodically at the training kennel.  The K-9 team must certify annually so that they are able to document for a court of law specific trained disciplines.  This is significant and unique because the K-9 team is capable of developing “probable cause” for purposes of conducting both warrant and warrant-less searches in certain circumstances.  Therefore, the K-9 handler must be ready to provide specific training documentation to a court of law in the event an arrest or the development of probable cause is ever challenged. 

What can Qai do for law enforcement and the community? 

            Qai is considered a dual-purpose narcotic trained police dog.  This means that he has specific training to perform the following functions to assist in a law enforcement mission: 

·        Narcotics detection (heroine, cocaine, marijuana, other derivatives)

o       Vehicle searches

o       School locker searches upon request by a school district

o       Private residences

o       Businesses

o       Packages

·        Area and building searches for a criminal suspect

·        Tracking and searching for lost people

·        Tracking and apprehension of criminal suspects

·        Clearing vehicles after high risk stops

·        Officer protection

·        Tactical obedience

·        Evidence search and recovery

·        Crowd control

·        Support emergency tactical response teams 

In addition to the aforementioned specific law enforcement functions, Qai and his handler are available to groups, schools, or organizations for purposes of putting on general demonstrations and to discuss the police K-9 role, child safety with respect to dogs, and other safety tips specific to the group audience and interest.  Qai is very social and interacts well with adults, children and groups.  Although there is no charge for appearances, any financial donation toward the Elm Grove Police K-9 fund is greatly appreciated.  These funds will offset any direct costs toward the taxpayer. 

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