Police canine aids officers in multiple fields

Throughout the past two years, City of St. Marys Police Patrolman Michael Shaffer and police canine Copper have enhanced their training by participating in specialized activities with fellow canine teams and their handlers.In December a small group of canine handlers and trainers visited St. Marys during a break in their training in Olean, N.Y. Present at the session were Copper's initial trainer, Stephen Phillips of Phillips Command Dogs and his dog Persia; Sue Jones of Wellsville, N.Y. and her dog Baron, who specializes in tracking and human remains detection; Jane Nook of New York with her dog Samurai, a tracking dog; and Deputy Andrew Ashlety from the St. Lawrence County New York's Sheriff's Office and his dog Hershey. "It's always good to work with them, because detection is detection whether they're smelling body parts or drugs. It's just a matter of harnessing the scent and ignoring everything but human scent, drugs, etc." Shaffer said. "We spent the day doing searches, tracks, bite work, searched Elk County Catholic and I showed them some local areas of interest."