The Gallipolis Police Department K9 Unit was established in 2001 under the direction of then Chief of Police Roger Brandeberry. With the increase in crimes related to the illegal trafficking in and the abuse of narcotics, the unit was established with the purpose of better combating those efforts by local as well as out of town drug dealers. At the same time, the department also seized the opportunity to get a dual (or special) purpose canine which is also capable of completing such law enforcement related duties such as tracking, searching buildings, evidence recovery and criminal apprehension.
On April 20th 2001, then Patrolman Matt Champlin and PSD (Police Service Dog) Virago completed their first certification through the State of Ohio and began working as a team for the City of Gallipolis. Since 2001, the team has amassed a number of criminal apprehensions and seizures resulting in prosecution and asset forfeiture both in the City of Gallipolis and in neighboring jurisdictions.
In addition to the criminal enforcement aspect of the K9 Unit, the team has also been an asset to the agency as a public relations tool. Through public demonstrations, the team has reached many organizations throughout the community and has acted as liaison for the department to the community. If your organization would like to schedule a public demonstration, you can contact Lt. Champlin via email at email@example.com or at 740.441.6015.