[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               December 12, 2008
News

Dogs support Emergency Services

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

Access to Fort McCoy has become more secure with the use of a bomb-sniffing dog to help screen incoming vehicles.

Photo: Marion Byerson puts Ira, a bomb-sniffing dog, to work during vehicle-search training at the Fort McCoy Main Gate. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Marion Byerson puts Ira, a bomb-sniffing dog, to work during vehicle-search training at the Fort McCoy Main Gate. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) Lt. Richard Jackson said the department contracted with Byerson Specialized Protection Services of Onalaska earlier this year to provide the dog on a recurring basis.

Marion Byerson, who formerly worked in law enforcement in La Crosse, Wis., will bring two dogs to support security checks at Fort McCoy. Ira, a Dutch Malinois (shepherd) bomb-sniffing dog, visited Fort McCoy last month. Logan, a narcotics dog, also a Malinois, is scheduled to visit Fort McCoy, as well.

"The dogs train once a week," Byerson said. "They support other law enforcement agencies and also are used to check the crowd at every Green Bay Packers home game."

Jackson said the dogs provide excellent support to the security measures because of their superb sense of smell, which is well beyond a humanís sense of smell. 


"The key benefits to a K-9 program are the (dog's) ability to quickly and reliably search for contraband and explosives. Trace material can be missed by the (human) eye..."

Lt. Richard Jackson,
Fort McCoy Directorate of 
Emergency Services

"The key benefits to a K-9 program are the (dogís) ability to quickly and reliably search for contraband and explosives," he said. "Trace material can be missed by the (human) eye, however, it is hard to defeat the sense of smell that a K-9 brings to the team.

"The K-9 affords the ability to conduct searches with fewer personnel," he said. "Large or small areas can be checked rapidly and efficiently."

Photo: Police Sgt. Jon Cave uses a search mirror to inspect the underside of a vehicle during a vehicle inspection training exercise at the Fort McCoy Main Gate. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Police Sgt. Jon Cave uses a search mirror to inspect the underside of a vehicle during a vehicle inspection training exercise at the Fort McCoy Main Gate. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

"DES Operations Captain Robert Stapel said the mere presence of the dogs can send a message to anyone who would try to breech the installationís security access system or bring in contraband narcotics.

This adds another deterrent to Ďbadí people trying to come onto the installation," he said. "It increases their chances of getting caught." Hopefully, that will discourage them from trying to gain access to Fort McCoy, he said.

During the recent visit by Byerson and Ira, DES Police Officers Sgt. Jon Cave and Jeff Kempt first used search mirrors to check underneath vehicles. Byerson then brought Ira into action to conduct a further check of the vehicles.

 

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