The Killeen ISD Police Department introduced its second K9 officer, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois named “Geri,” that is a weapons detection expert.
Obviously alert and excited to work, the trained detection and apprehension dog appeared alongside police officer and handler Kyle Perrow in a news conference Thursday at the KISD Administration Office boardroom.
Superintendent John Craft and KISD Chief of Police Ralph Disher explained that the new K9 brings a specialty in weapons detection that complements KISD’s other K9, Sauron, trained to detect drugs.
Geri can detect 15 kinds of weapons ranging from firearms to explosives.
Both animals are trained in apprehension, and they will frequently be deployed concurrently during large events like football games and graduation ceremonies.
Perrow and Geri trained together four weeks, following the dog’s initial training in the Netherlands, where the animal was born. It responds to commands in Dutch.
The pair continue to train weekly with Fort Hood police and K9 officers, a practice that allows both K9 and handler to hone and sharpen their skills.
Sauron has been on duty for KISD since spring 2020.
The detection dogs provide a more cost effective and more available force than the contracted canine service the district used in the past.
Answering media questions, Craft said the canines, combined with the district’s human police officers, the training and the variety of door checks and other efforts make the district schools safer.
Disher pointed out that the dogs work as a deterrent when visiting campuses and events even when they don’t discover items.
Geri is a male dog. His name is pronounced “Gary.”
He lives with Perrow and his family, including four children. At home, the detection dog is a regular dog, the officer said.
Geri has a particular appreciation for a green chew bone, the officer said.
Visits are planned at campuses for Red Ribbon Week and during KISD Safety Week.