COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a unique new crime-fighting tool that is now available to help Ohio law enforcement agencies in criminal investigations. Reptar, a 22-month-old black Labrador Retriever, is the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s new Electronic Detection K-9.
Reptar has received specialized training to sniff out chemicals that are used in all electronic devices with storage capabilities, such as computers, cellphones, tablets, hard drives, USB storage devices, and SD cards. These devices are commonly used by child pornography suspects, who may hide storage devices inside doors, underneath furniture, and even inside false-bottom drawers or electrical outlet covers.
Reptar and his BCI Special Agent partner and handler, Josh Rammel, are assigned to the Attorney General’s BCI Crimes Against Children (CAC) Unit, but are also available to assist on other types of cases when law enforcement investigators need help uncovering hidden electronics.
“You can run, but you can no longer hide from Reptar’s highly-skilled nose, which can sniff out even the smallest devices in the biggest rooms or vehicles,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “We are committed to finding the latest crime-fighting tools in order to protect Ohio families. Reptar has already proven valuable in some criminal investigations, finding devices hidden from investigators, and we know he will continue to help us hold criminals accountable.”
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine created the CAC Unit in 2011. Last year, the Unit investigated 161 cases, assisting 98 law enforcement agencies in 47 counties and serving approximately 87 search warrants.
In a recent child pornography investigation, Reptar sniffed out a hidden SD card inside a drawer with a false bottom. He also uncovered a flash drive concealed behind a stereo. In another case, Reptar led investigators to a cell phone stashed inside a carved-out toilet in an Ohio prison cell.
Reptar is also a comfort animal, not only for law enforcement investigators on stressful investigations, but also for victims at search warrant scenes.
Reptar is very unique. He is believed to be one of only two law enforcement Electronic Detection K-9s in Ohio, and one of approximately 50 in the world. The cost to purchase and train Reptar was $11,000, which was covered by two grants awarded to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
Law enforcement agencies can request that Reptar and his BCI handler assist on criminal investigations by calling BCI at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446).
Distinguished Law Enforcement Achievement Awards
Mike DeWine honored several law enforcement professionals with Distinguished Law Enforcement Achievement Awards during the Ohio Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Conference in Columbus.
Law Enforcement Conference
“I am proud to present awards to these law enforcement officers whose unique skills include instructing their colleagues on how to keep others out of harm’s way; those who have served their communities and departments with distinction; and individual officers and task forces whose valorous acts of bravery in the line of duty have protected the citizens of Ohio,” said Attorney General DeWine.
The award winners were nominated by their colleagues and selected by members of the 2017 Law Enforcement Awards Committee.
Click on the name of each award winner for a full summary of their achievements. Photos from today’s award ceremony can be requested by calling 614-466-3840 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Distinguished Law Enforcement Valor Award:
Officer Alan Horujko, The Ohio State University Police Division
Capt. Jack L. Tremain, Ross Township Police Department
Distinguished Law Enforcement Group Achievement Award:
Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force
Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC)/Central Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force
Distinguished Law Enforcement Lifetime Achievement Award:
Officer Richard T. Baldwin (retired), Youngstown Police Department
Sheriff Albert J. ‘Tim’ Rodenberg Jr. (retired), Clermont County Sheriff’s Office
Mark Losey Distinguished Law Enforcement Service Award:
Detective Gerald ‘Jerry’ Antenucci, Barberton Police Department
Distinguished Law Enforcement Training Award:
Ordinance Team, The Ohio State University Police Division
Distinguished Law Enforcement Community Service Award:
Deputy Erica Russell, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
Distinguished Civilian Leadership Award:
Bruce and Nancy Haverkamp, The Matt Haverkamp Foundation
Scenario Training Equipment Program for Law Enforcement
DeWine unveiled a new law enforcement training program aimed at bringing customized, low-cost scenario-based training to law enforcement agencies across the state.
Attorney General DeWine announced the launch of the new Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy Scenario Training Equipment Program (STEP) during this year’s Ohio Law Enforcement Conference in Columbus.
“Since becoming Attorney General, it has been my goal to bring as much training to the doorsteps of local law enforcement agencies as possible,” said Attorney General DeWine. “This new training program will not only give local training officers the skills to conduct customized scenario-based training in-house, but it will also provide the equipment needed to safely and effectively conduct this critical training.”
STEP is a cost-effective method of bringing scenario-based training, which replicates real-world, high-stress situations, to Ohio law enforcement agencies across the state. Scenario-based training gives officers the opportunity to sharpen their decision making, team work, communications, de-escalation, force-on-force, and first-aid skills in a safe training environment.
Agencies that choose to participate in STEP will receive instructor-level, scenario-based training for their training officers from Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) instructors who will teach the safest and most effective ways to conduct force-on-force training. Local training officers who complete the instructor-level training are then able to borrow – free of charge – all of the equipment needed to safely bring this training back to their agencies.
Each STEP Kit includes:
- Training pistols
- Training rifles
- Marking cartridges
- Training Tasers, pepper spray, and batons
- Role player props
- Protective gear for students, role players, and instructors
“The cost to purchase all of this equipment can be a burden, especially for smaller departments,” said Attorney General DeWine. “By taking away that equipment cost, local departments can provide this important training and customize the instruction to teach and enforce their own policies and procedures.”
OPOTA will also deliver the equipment to the local agency and pick it up once training is complete.
A wide range of situations can be addressed in scenario-based training, such as how to safely de-escalate a situation through verbal skills or non-lethal force, and tactics for responding to a hostage situation, active shooter, ambush, or mass casualty incident.
Law enforcement agencies interested in learning more about STEP should email email@example.com.