By Kim Dailey |Staff Writer|
CSUSB’s Criminal Justice Club helps support and fund Chevy, our very own explosive detection dog here on campus. The Criminal Justice Club helped raise $850 by selling chocolates and club T-shirts to buy supplies for Chevy.
Chevy is an almost a 3-year-old German Shepherd that came to CSUSB last October and became a part of the campus police department with Officer Helen Skaggs as his partner.
“Chevy was purchased off grants and donations, which Officer Skaggs did a lot of fundraising herself,” said president of the Criminal Justice Club, Josue Garcia. Chevy still needs the materials supplies such as a vest, special leash and dog food.
The Criminal Justice Club is working on making their fundraiser an annual event to help raise money for Chevy. Officer Skaggs will need to purchase a muzzle for Chevy and would like to have a back up fund for normal and emergency trips to the vet if he were ever to get hurt on duty.
Chevy is from Little Rock, Arkansas where he was purchased by a couple as a house pet but they took him back due to his hyperactive behavior, which is the strongest characteristic when looking for potential explosive detection dog to train.
Skaggs and Chevy were not trained in explosive detection. They had to learn and train together to pass their Police Officer Standard Trained (P.O.S.T.) Certification, which they passed on March 16. “Passing the test allows them to not only protect our school but be used by local outside agencies,” said Skaggs.
CSUSB and Skaggs thought bringing an explosive detection dog to our campus was a good idea due to the increasing of terrorist attacks over the years and having so many students on campus at one time.
“A higher sense of security will be with those who are on campus in an emergency or otherwise. The dog will provide extra protection in keeping everyone safe,” said student Christian Bogh.
“Chevy is one of four explosive detection dogs in San Bernardino County and is trained in detecting nine different scents now, and could potentially go up to 12-15 scents,” said Skaggs.
“For now, Chevy is our only K-9 on campus, but hopefully, won’t be the last. Next will be a drug detection dog,” said Skaggs.
A normal day for Skaggs and Chevy is to work a 10-hour shift on campus and respond to on or off-campus emergencies. Skaggs points out they practice working on obedience and Chevy’s nine scents daily. Chevy knows when he is put on his special leash it means “work time.”
The K-9 treats explosive detecting as a game. When given the commands to find the scent, he will sit down next to it. That signals to Skaggs he found it and is waiting for his reward, a toy, which is a basket woven stick.
“I think it is good for taking precautions against events we can not control and having Chevy around is a great thing for our school and our community,” says student Noel Scannella.
If anyone would like to help the club with funds towards Chevy’s future, please contact the Criminal Justice Club Advisor Dr. Parsons at [email protected] or President Josue Garcia at [email protected].