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Good boy, Griff: HPD welcomes new dog

Posted November 9, 2022 in Police by Andrea Litchfield

The City of Hilliard Division of Police has a new furry officer. K9 Griff is the Division’s first German Shepherd.

Griff is 2 years old and weighs about 90 pounds. He is teamed up with Officer Matt Braden and has been on the job for about one month.

“He likes to track — find people, find articles,” said Officer Braden. “We’re really working on narcotics detection now.”

Like all agency dogs, K9 Griff is considered a “dual purpose” dog, meaning he is trained in criminal apprehension, tracking, article searches and narcotic detection. A K9’s reward is praise from his handler and his special toy.

Griff was born in Germany and understands commands in German. He underwent obedience training in Germany before being flown to Ohio to complete training at Storm Dog Tactical.

German Shepherds are highly intelligent, athletic, and loyal dogs with high scenting abilities. K9 Griff can smell 100,000 times better than a human, thanks to the 225 million scent receptors in his nose.

The team is one of three currently serving the City of Hilliard. They join K9 Max and handler Officer Hunter Schweickart, and K9 Ari and Officer Dustin Kaiser.

He is the eighth dog to serve since the agency’s K9 program was established in June 2005. On average, the K9 unit is used about 200 times per year, mostly for narcotic detection.

The unit is often called upon by other law enforcement agencies throughout Ohio for assistance. Within the first few weeks on the job, K9 Griff assisted on a traffic stop that netted fentanyl and $18,000 in cash, as well as the recovery of a gun.

The unit also works closely with Hilliard City Schools in its dedication to keeping the buildings drug-free.

When he’s not on the job, K9 Griff lives at home with Officer Braden and his family.