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West Chester Police canine Blek retires
After seven years on the force – or about 50 in dog years – West Chester Police Department canine officer Blek is calling it a career.
Canine Blek spent one of his last days on the beat with handler Officer Rob Obermeyer Friday, Aug. 31 at a community outreach event for students and staff at Butler Tech. On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the West Chester Board of Trustees made Blek’s retirement official by transferring ownership to Officer Obermeyer.
“During canine Blek’s time protecting West Chester Township from 2011 to 2018, he was deployed 463 times and logged more than 1,710 training hours,” said Police Chief Joel Herzog, a former canine handler for the department.
Blek was dually certified for patrol work and drug detection duties, putting his training and tracking skills to good use with Officer Obermeyer on more than 5,500 calls for service. Blek’s work successfully led to the capture and arrest of suspected drug dealers, violent criminals, thieves and more throughout his seven years of service.
Among notable accomplishments, Blek assisted in the 2012 recovery of $4,635 after an open air sniff of a vehicle alerted officers to possession of marijuana by the driver. In 2015, Blek’s efforts helped officers track and detain without incident a runaway juvenile who had fled police. And in 2016, Blek successfully located a gun used in a homicide.
The West Chester Township Police Department Canine Unit was founded in 1993. Since established, the unit has enlisted the service of 13 canine officers. Presently, canine officers Ciro and Rico remain in service to the community.
For more about the West Chester Police Canine Unit, watch: https://vimeo.com/162426540