Killeen Independent School District partnered with the Fort Hood Directorate of Emergency Services and several other agencies from the community for their annual safety week, Jan. 9-13, which aims to educate students on various safe practices.
“We’ve always been big on building relationships with our kids and our staff and our parents because that just helps you to increase the security and safety of our campus,” says Chief Ralph Disher, Killeen ISD Police Chief.
The school district is different than most; it not only has schools in the neighboring community, it also has eight schools on Fort Hood, including Clear Creek Elementary School.
During the two safety presentations Friday afternoon, students from the elementary school had a chance to meet Rambo and Teddy and their Military Working Dog handlers, Sgt. David Smith and Sgt. Miguel Martinez, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade.
“For us to be able to come out to the community and put on a demonstration for them and for them to have such excitement and joy for it puts a smile on our face,” Smith explained. “It’s not just for us, but really like we’d love to show what our dogs are capable of and to show their amazing capabilities.”
MWD are trained in narcotics detection and apprehension, and Rambo and Teddy are also tracking dogs and can help track down someone who is lost or “help catch the bad guys,” Martinez shared.
The K9 officer runs between 30 and 40 miles per hour and can follow someone’s scent for miles.
During the safety presentations, the students saw how a K9 team would stop someone trying to run from them or track a missing person.
“Whether it be a bad guy, or whether it’s one of you guys who’s lost on your bike, our dogs can find you,” Smith said.
During the event, students asked questions about what work looks like at a military police station. More importantly, students wondered where Rambo and Teddy slept and about their favorite treats. Although the four-legged officers were very watchful and looked at all the kids, they didn’t have much to say. Smith and Martinez spoke about their furry partners’ behavior, telling students that they live in a kennel with other dogs, and they love their black rubber ball for completing a mission.
The school district hopes to give students of all ages more information on when to call 911, being aware of their surroundings, and knowing how to react in unsafe situations.