PORTER | Kilo the Porter police K-9 and Harley the Porter search and rescue K-9 will show off their talents during demonstrations at the second annual Summer Safety Festival from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 14th at Hawthorne Park.
Jay Craig, assistant chief for the Porter Fire Department, said the two dogs have been practicing all winter to hone their skills at the park department’s community building.
“We set up an odor and detection area. There are three walls with five holes in them and we built it using some donation money," Craig said. "The walls have tubes where we place any narcotic or human remains odor, fake scents used for this purpose."
In addition to the scent holes, the dogs also train in other environments created for the space, such as boxes and lockers.
“During the winter, having this space available for training was really valuable," Craig said. "We did a lot of aggression work with Kilo, the protection dog, since he’s a newer dog and we could practice during the cold weather.”
The public can see demonstrations of both protection and apprehension, as well as search and rescue, during the festival.
“We will have a wall that we can reassemble outside to show how Kilo alerts and do some obedience work. Harley, the search and rescue dog, will do some area searches,” Craig said.
In addition to the K-9 demonstrations, guests can also dunk a police officer in the dunk tank, learn fire safety in a "smoke house," help put out a simulated fire, learn about stranger danger and what kind of equipment is housed in an ambulance, and finish with an interactive multi-media presentation promoting self-esteem anti-bullying.
The event and all activities are free.