TTU to co-host National Detector Dog Trials

Campus may look more like a crime scene than a college campus at Tennessee Tech University next week as police officers and K-9 dogs participate in the National Detector Dog Trials.

TTU will co-host the two-day event along with the Cookeville Police Department. The trials will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 19 and 20 in Henderson Hall and the parking lots behind Henderson Hall and the Foundry Building.

"Tech has been wonderful to help with the event," said Capt. Pat Sealy, Cookeville Police Department K-9 coordinator.

The United States Police Canine Association National Detector Dog Trials is a certification event that tests the proficiency of K-9 dogs and their handlers. There are five detector dog trial categories including narcotic, explosive, arson, cadaver, and game detection.

The dogs will have to search five vehicles and three classrooms. Teams that complete the trials will receive certification, and winners of individual events will receive trophies.

"Safety is our number one concern," Sealy said. Signs will be posted on campus and stewards will be stationed in Henderson Hall throughout the event.

Henderson Hall will be used for classroom searches and will remain open to workers and individuals who need to enter the building. The front doors will be locked, so individuals should enter using the rear or side doors. Individuals should locate one of the stewards as they enter, exit or move around the building.

The parking lot behind Henderson Hall will be roped off and used as a staging area for the dogs and their handlers. Vendors and emergency personnel will also be located in this area. The parking lot behind the Foundry building will be roped off and used for vehicle searches.

Sealy said all outdoor events are free and open to the public, and he looks forward to seeing people come out and watch the dogs at work. Bleachers will be available behind the Foundry for spectators.

The Cookeville Police Department has hosted many regional events but has never hosted a national event. Sealy said he expects 150 to 200 K-9 teams from across the nation to attend the event, including a team from the CIA. The CPD will have four dogs participating in the trials including, Sealy's dog.

Money earned from the event will go to the Cookeville Canine Fund to purchase another dog for the police department.

For more information, contact Capt. Pat Sealy at 931-260-7522 or Sgt. Terry Woodcook at 931-261-7551 or visit uspcak9.com.