Working Dog Wednesday: Interview with Marietta Police Department’s Officer McClelland and K9 Officer Edo
With just one week left in 2018, we’re doubling up on our weekly dog blog by featuring two of this year’s top dogs. Today we’re showcasing our interview with 2017 Aftermath K9 Grant winners, Marietta Police Department of Marietta, Ohio. Officer McClelland spoke to us about the Marietta community and about his partner, K9 Edo.
Meet Us in Marietta
Marietta is a city of 15,000 people, situated in the southeast corner of the state. The town is the county seat of Washington County, but it’s better known for the being the first settlement in the state. “It is a very supportive community,” said Officer McClelland.
This year was the first time Marietta PD participated in the Aftermath K9 grant competition. Though Officer McClelland first heard of Aftermath when he worked for another department, he didn’t know about the K9 contest until his wife brought it to his attention this fall. “We used our Facebook page and word of mouth to encourage community involvement in the contest. WTAP news did a story on it and the City posted about it on their Facebook page.”
When he learned that the department had received an honorable mention award, McClelland didn’t believe it at first. “A friend of mine actually found out from your Facebook page that we were a winner. I told him that couldn’t be the case because there were only 5 winners and we didn’t place. But then I looked for myself and saw that there were additional winners this year and we were one of them.”
Community is Key
Officer McClelland also credits the town with keeping Marietta’s K9 program afloat in the first place. Though Edo is the only dog in the unit, training and expenses can be burdensome for a small town. “We are lucky to have businesses within the community that donate food and funds to our K9 unit,” Officer McClelland says.
Edo is a 5-year-old Belgian Shephard from Germany. He is the 3rd dog to be part of Marietta’s K9 unit. “He definitely has a personality,” his handler states. “He is fun and loving and loves to play with my other dogs. But when it is time to do work, he knows to switch gears and do the work he needs to do.”
Edo’s main job is drug detection. He also makes a great community liaison, Officer McClelland explains: “One time we made a traffic stop outside of a school. A few kids were nearby and they wanted to take a picture with Edo. After we were done with the stop, we took a moment to take pictures and talk to them about Edo. They posted the picture on their Facebook page and invited us to their school where they presented Edo to their class. It was a great experience for the school and, of course, Edo loved it.”
Funds from the Aftermath K9 grant will be used to purchase new equipment for Edo. “We need to update his harness, leash, and collar. They have some wear and tear and he could use new ones.”
K9 Edo’s popularity has taken off with Marietta and in areas beyond. McClelland keeps a Facebook page, where you can view regular photos and updates of Edo and former members of Marietta’s K9 unit.