Local News

State Capitol Police get new four-legged officer

Posted March 9

The State Capitol Police have a new four-legged officer on their team. Balu, a 19-month-old German Shepherd, recently completed comprehensive explosive-detection training.
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— The State Capitol Police have a new four-legged officer on their team.

Balu, a 19-month-old German shepherd, recently completed comprehensive explosive-detection training.

The dog is capable of conducting searches for a variety of explosive materials near buildings, parking lots, offices, vehicles, packages and people in and around state government facilities.

"The canine will provide a strong visible and psychological deterrent against criminal and terrorist threats,” State Capitol Police Chief Glen Allen said in a statement. “More importantly, Balu will be available to assist our federal, state and local law enforcement partners in the fight against crime.”

Balu will partner with his handler, Officer Kevin Johnson. Johnson recently joined the State Capitol Police after retiring from local law enforcement with over two decades as a K-9 handler and master trainer.

In addition, he is also a past president of the United States Police Canine Association. Johnson worked with Balu and successfully completed training involving various aspects of bomb detection and other explosives.

Balu was acquired and will be maintained through a cooperative effort with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Canine Unit.

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