The newest member of the Sarasota Police Department has a nose that knows explosive materials.
K9 Bobbi, a 2-year-old German shepherd from Slovakia, is a bomb odor detection K9 trained to find explosive devices and materials. She is partnered with patrol officer Adam Arena and the pair will be assigned to the night shift, according to police.
“Bobbi never wants to stop working. She’s a fun, playful, loving dog with a second-to-none high energy drive to keep the city of Sarasota a safe place to live, work and play,” Arena said of his new partner.
That work ethic was exactly what the department was looking for, according to Sgt. Bruce King, who oversees the department’s K9, marine patrol and traffic units.
“When you’re looking for a good K9, you want a dog that will play ball with you until he or she drops,” King said, noting that’s how Bobbi is. She beat out several other dogs that Sarasota police officials were eying for the role.
King said Bobbi and Arena started working together in late 2017, after their schooling and testing were completed, and they’re getting plenty of work.
“We’re using the dog far more than I expected to,” King said. “It’s another level of safety and more thorough searches.”
Just a few months into her career, Bobbi has already sniffed Ringling Bridge and put her nose to work on Main Street before New Year’s Eve, King said. She’s also been used to aid other departments.
Bobbi is one of the department’s four K9s, but she’s the only one that is a single-purpose K9. The department has another K9 that is trained in both bomb odor detection and apprehension tactics, King said.
Bringing K9 Bobbi into the department was made possible through a partnership and donation from Boar’s Head Brand, which sells a variety of meats and cheeses.
The funds from the company’s donation allowed Sarasota police to make modifications to a patrol car for a K9 as well as training for Arena and the purchase of other supplies for Bobbi.
“We are proud to call Sarasota home. As a company, we believe in giving back to the communities where we live and work, and keeping them safe. We recognize the vital role the Sarasota Police Department K9 Unit plays in protecting our police force and our local area. We’re honored to be able to sponsor K9 Bobbi and look forward to the tremendous service she will provide Sarasota,” said Elizabeth Ward, senior director of marketing for Boar’s Head Brand.