CLARKSVILLE, IN (July 31, 2023) – The Clarksville Police Department will soon be adding a new four-legged officer to its ranks. “Bane” is a 14-month-old Dutch Shepherd, recently purchased in order to replace the soon to be retired K9 “Chapo”. Police Chief Mark Palmer says they goal is to get Bane certified and on-duty before Chapo enjoys his much-deserved retirement.
“We knew that Chapo was getting close to retirement, so we started a fundraising campaign to purchase a new K9 along with the other equipment needed to train and house him,” said Palmer.
That fundraising campaign started in March 2023 and helped the department raise nearly $21,000. Most of the best professionally trained police dogs come from Europe and can be very expensive, not to mention all the equipment they need. Bane came from Poland, so he is included in that group. He joins the department’s other K9 officers include Chapo, Argo, and Dozer.
“Someday I would like to see one K9 unit with each of our department’s four squads, but for now we have three,” said Palmer. “Bane will make it four for a short time, at least until Chapo is retired.”
Bane is currently undergoing training in Clarksville, learning to search for drugs like marijuana, heroin, and meth. He will also be trained in criminal apprehension and tracking. Leading the training sessions is Master Trainer Glenn Jackson with the North American Police Work Dog Association. He says he hopes to have Bane ready to hit the streets by the end of September.
Training along side Bane is his new handler is Senior Patrolman Brittany Allen, an 8-year-veteran of the Clarksville Police Department. Like Bane, Allen is new to being a member of a Police K9 unit and currently undergoing training for her new position. She says she was excited when she learned she would get the chance to work with a K9.
“I have a love for dogs. I mean, honestly, it is something I’ve wanted to do since I started (as a police officer),” said Allen.
Senior Patrolman Allen will train with Bane over the next several weeks, but she will also have additional classes on topics such as how to properly care for a Police K9. Taking care of dogs is nothing new for Allen who has two other dogs (a Doberman and German Shepherd/Lab mix) at home. She says Bane is already fitting in well.
“He’s been awesome at home. He has a nice kennel, but he loves to lay outside and lot and gets along well with my other two dogs.”
Allen says the biggest challenge she has dealt with so far is Bane’s training is his stubbornness.
“He’s still young and I can se a lot of immaturity still. He’s not used to being around a lot of people yet, so that is something we will be working on as well.”
It’s a challenge Allen says she is ready for, although there a little added pressure with her being the Clarksville Police Department’s first female K9 officer. She says it helps that the Charlestown Police Department has its own female K9 officer, Officer Alex Billings, who she can train with from time to time.
“I get to pick her brain when it comes to being a female K9 officer, and its great having her experience to learn from.”
Allen says she and Officer Billings are a very small group of female K9 Officers in the Southern Indiana area, but that she would like to see more female officers join the ranks.
“Even in general, it would be nice if more qualified females were hired to be police officers, not just because they are women but because they are qualified.”
For now though, Allen says she is simply focused on training with Bane and getting ready to hit the streets together.
“He’s new to this and learning, and so am I, so we’re just learning everything together.”
The Clarksville Police Department accepts donations year-round for the K9 Division. All funds go towards enriching the continuing education/training for both the K9 and K9 handlers, equipment and the maintenance and well-being of our K9’s. If you would like to donate, checks may be made out to the Clarksville Police Department and mailed to: 1970 Broadway St, Clarksville, IN 47129. Please note on the check that it is for the K9 Division.