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  • Writer's pictureHope Center Indy

K-9 Program Continues to Thrive

When Hope Center Indy first collaborated with Jordan Detection K-9 to house an electronic storage detection training facility on its campus, no one could have guessed the profound impact it would have in the fight to end human trafficking.

Bree Cooper who serves as the Director of Security for Hope Center Indy and an instructor for the K-9 program, notes there has been considerable growth and progress achieved along the way.

"Since the beginning of this program there has been a strong sense of purpose. We took that first step and it is incredible to see how far we have come since those early days," Bree says.

The K-9's are trained in electronic storage detection, which enables them to identify a particular chemical commonly used in phones and laptops. The dogs' training in electronic storage detection begins with their handler associating food rewards with successful storage detection. Through this process, basic cues and advanced commands are instilled.

This skill makes them a valuable asset to law enforcement during search warrants. Their dedication and hard work have led to numerous arrests, showcasing the effectiveness of the K-9 program in cracking down on human traffickers, child pornography, and other crimes.

The K-9 Barn recently graduated its 143rd dog, enabling the program to reach and impact even more communities.

"This program is making a huge difference in very dark corners of the world; corners most of us don’t want to think about," Bree says. "However, through our efforts, we are bringing light and hope into those places."

While the K-9s main goal is to find evidence that aids in the arrest of perpetrators and help those being trafficked, the dogs also often serve as therapy dogs.

"A victim was having a hard time communicating, and the handler of the K-9 on site asked if the individual would like to see the dog," Bree tells of one of the K-9s. "When the handler brought in the K-9, it immediately rested its chin on the victims knee which noticeably helped calm them down. That is just one of the many stories in which the K-9s have helped calm people down, and made them feel safe."

Looking to the future, Bree is filled with hope and optimism for the K-9 program, which has plans to expand training efforts and include more opportunities for the Hope Center Indy residents to learn how to care and train the dogs.

"This program is impacting more people, numbers-wise, every day. We’re grateful to have it at Hope Center Indy," says Bree.

Supporters can keep up to date with the K-9's through Hope Center Indy and Jordan Detection K-9's social media channels.

This blog was written by guest writer, Zoey Schaeffer, a recent graduate of Indiana University. Thank you, Zoey, for reaching out to Hope Center Indy and letting us be a part of your capstone project!

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