Meet Gus. He's a handsome German Shepard Dutch Malinois mix. He's a very well behaved dog, too, so well behaved that he won't tear your arm off unless he's given the proper command, in Dutch, by the right person.
That's Mollie Pehl (nee Porter) handling him. You may remember her from Police Academy - training defensive moves and Defensive Combat -- fists, feet, knives -- a pro fighter teaches police.
Gus is one of the MPD K-9 officers, and he was on display today at the Midland, Texas, Police Department Open House along with the Swat Team, the Rifle Team, and the Explosive Ordinance Division (Bomb Squad).
The EOD is a fascinating group. One has to admire the courage it takes to approach and disarm an explosive device -- you saw "The Hurt Locker," right? On the other hand, it must be fun playing with all the cool toys, like the Remotec Andros robot, for example.
When a suspicious package is reported the first step for the EOD is to X ray it with their portable machine. Once the film is developed, which they can do on location, they decide whether it's harmless or whether they need to blow it up to see what's in it. A package containing a cell phone and charging cable, however innocent, may be all it takes to raise suspicion. The next step is to haul it to a safe place and blow it apart. A couple of plastic water bottles with some C4 attached to them can project water with enough power to blow a package apart. Then they go pick up the pieces to see what was in it. If it was a bomb the water blast would have separated the blasting cap from the explosive material rendering it harmless. Very impressive.
Let's not forget the children. There were lots of hands-on experiences available for the kiddos.
Everyone had a good time.
[Correction. The spelling of Officer Pehl's name was corrected.]