Dozens of police dogs recertified for duty

OCONOMOWOC (WITI) -- Police dogs from all over Wisconsin gathered in Oconomowoc this week to get their recertification to continue active duty.

Some might not think it's important for an animal to be certified, but in a court case, a judge or jury can weigh how credible evidence is if it's found by a dog.

"It's very important in this day and age that we're in. It's important the dogs are proven and they are reliable," said trainer Jeanne Frost.

Frost and her cadaver dog were recently involved in a search for a missing man in Menominee Falls.

Kevin Smyth of the Bloom County Police Department was getting his dog, Bosco, recertified.

"As soon as he started looking high up, I could tell there was an odor high in here," said Smyth. Bosco was picking up a bag of marijuana tied to the rafters.

Officer Ryan McNally and his dog, Diesel, have been patrolling West Allis for almost four years.

"Search warrants is where most of our narc dogs are used, but we use them on the street for vehicles or houses," said McNally.

At recertification training, Diesel had no problem sniffing out cocaine and methamphetamine hidden in a locker.

Drug sniffing isn't the only work Diesel does. He also makes apprehensions.

"He will track that person and that person basically gives up or Diesel will take that person into custody," said McNally. "He makes an apprehension with his mouth."

Police dog certification isn't a law in Wisconsin, but departments do want their dogs to be certified for a credibility factor in court.

Nationally, about 10 percent of dogs don't make the grade for recertification. They are retrained with their handler until they pass.