Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 16, 2021

Chattanooga Police Department introduces K9 Gunther

Gunny is trained to detect more than 20 explosives by odors when they are in motion or in a static environment. - Photograph provided

The Chattanooga Police Department adds to its ranks a new employee who possesses specialized skills the CPD says could save lives.

Vapor Wake-trained K9 Gunther (aka Gunny) is an almost 2-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer who originally hails from Hungary. Gunny trained in Anniston, Alabama at Vapor Wake K9 where his CPD handler, Sgt. Sean O’Brien, joined him for the final seven weeks of the program.

“Gunther is a smart, gentle dog who loves to work and train,” O’Brien says. “I’m pleased to introduce him to members of this community and work alongside such a skilled and dependable partner.”

Vapor Wake dogs are specially trained to detect more than 20 explosives’ odors when they are in motion or in a static environment. The CPD’s current K9s are not trained to detect odors in motion nor in large crowds.

Gunny will be able to provide ongoing and randomized K9 sweeps of various venues and its attendees, identifying potential threats entering the venue or roaming throughout the area.

Gunny will primarily support CPD’s Gun Team, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team and Neighborhood Policing Bureau. K9 Gunther and O’Brien will also be made available to assist other area law enforcement agencies as needed and schedules allow.

Since Gunny and O’Brien were certified and deployed March 8, they have completed three area searches related to shots fired calls, with one weapon recovered, one area search related to an armed robbery, one building and area search related to a CPD Gun Team search warrant, one school sweep, two sweeps and vapor searches for public events and one sweep of the Chattanooga Airport.

“The CPD has been improving and increasing its use of technology to provide improved public safety in recent years,” Chief David Roddy says. “It makes sense to also utilize the most current canine technology available to further enhance public safety at events and crowded locations not just in Chattanooga but also in the surrounding area.”

The purchase and training of K9 Gunny was funded by the 2020 Homeland Security Grant Program. The application and administration of that grant was handled by the Hamilton County Office of Emergency Management.

The CPD will assume all costs associated with the care and maintenance of Gunny and the recertification of Gunny and O’Brien. There are now seven active working dogs in the CPD’s K9 Unit.

Source: Chattanooga Police Department