FEATUREDNewsSEK9 Spotlight

Granville Police Dept. Awarded COPS Grant for K9 Search Program in West Virginia

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s Office visited the Granville Police Department on Tuesday, Oct. 25 to kick off and raise awareness of the Granville K9 Wandering and Criminal Detection program. Granville PD is the recipient of a $150,000 Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant to establish and operate a scent technology and K9 search program for recovering missing individuals with dementia, developmental disabilities, victims of trafficking, and locating criminal suspects. The Granville PD K9 Teams participated in scent discriminate K9 trailing and Missing Person Response Protocol training with Scent Evidence K9, the grant service provider, from Oct. 24 – Oct. 28. The COPS grant also includes an effective Scent Kit program and wandering public awareness campaign. The program greatly benefits taxpayers by proactively protecting populations with Alzheimer’s and autism at high risk of wandering (42,412 in WV with Alzheimer’s in 2021) and improving K9 search success of missing citizens/students (WVU), and criminal suspects.

Granville PD Receives COPS Grant
Photo by Erin Cleavenger/The Dominion Post – (Pictured from left) Scent Evidence K9 CEO Paul Coley, Home Instead GM Monica Everly, Granville PD Chief Craig Corkrean, PFC Brittany Kolb, K9 Rose, and representatives from Sen. Capito’s office.

Scent Discriminate Training was conducted by Scent Evidence K9 CEO, Paul Coley in Morgantown WV. K9 Rose, a scent discriminate Bloodhound trained by Coley, began her new job with the Granville PD and her new handler PFC Brittany Kolb earlier this year. Kolb and K9 Rose, along with fellow Granville PD K9 handler Aaron Huyett and K9 Cadillac teamed up in September to help discover a sexual assault crime scene. The victim did not know where the scene was located and only knew that it was somewhere off a trail in the woods in a half-mile area. K9 Rose started the trail and K9 Cadillac finished it. Scent Evidence K9 CEO, Paul Coley, stated, “We are honored to have worked and trained with the Granville PD and we worked on multiple K9 team scenarios to locate crime scene evidence during our training. This is a great example of using trailing techniques and teamwork to find the target.” Read More HERE

The services provided through the COPS grant include components of Coley’s highly successful Bringing The Lost Home Program to introduce and maintain a proven and effective missing person response and location program for populations with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, autism, and other cognitive disabilities who are at high risk of wandering. Agencies across the country have used the program resources to find hundreds of missing persons and have protected thousands who are in high-risk wandering groups by distributing Scent Preservation Kits and raising missing person awareness in their communities. “The Scent Discriminate K9 Trailing and Missing Person Response Training used to find an individual who has wandered is also highly effective in locating criminal suspects. Both applications of K9 search work well to keep the community safe,” stated Coley.

Granville PD K9 Handlers
Granville PD K9 Handlers Brittany Kolb with K9 Rose and Aaron Huyett with K9 Cadillac

Protecting and Recovering People At Risk of Wandering

Studies show that 60% or 3 of every 5 persons with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia will wander and go missing. The numbers are almost as high for children with autism. The American Pediatric Association states that 50% of those with children with autism will wander/elope and go missing at least once before age 17. Scent Evidence K9 CEO, Paul Coley has made it his company’s mission to not only improve missing person response capabilities for communities but to protect individuals before they go missing. Coley created The Scent Preservation Kit® or “Scent Kit” to give families and caregivers an effective tool to pre-collect a person’s scent before they go missing and provide responders with a pre-collected uncontaminated scent article before the search begins.

Home Instead GM Monica Everly has been a supporter of the Scent Kits for 2 years and has worked to implement their use in the community to provide elder care services to her clients and others at risk of wandering.

The kits are easy to use and it only takes a few minutes to SWIPE, SEAL, and STORE a person’s unique scent. A person simply SWIPES the included sterile gauze pad repeatedly around the underarm area and places the pad in a specially treated evidence-grade jar. The jar is then SEALED, labeled, and STORED in a safe place in their home or adult care facility until needed. If a person has wandered or goes missing, a family member or caregiver presents the Scent Kit to emergency responders. This allows responders to begin searching immediately with the best possible scent source. “Having a pre-collected scent article ready for responders before a person goes missing someone is reported missing is much more effective than using an article of clothing or a personal household item that may have been handled previously by others. The Scent Kit gives K-9 responders a head start which can save a person’s life,” said Coley. The Scent Kit® can last up to 10 years. The Scent Kits also contain an Individual Preparedness Plan Flash Drive to store important identification information and trauma-informed care information like triggers that can agitate a confused person and comforters that can calm them when they are located. “Having the information prepared in advance gives responders the most accurate identification details when they begin searching,” said Coley. The Individual Preparedness Plan also contains Missing Person Reporting Guidelines that help families and caregivers act fast when a person is missing.

Missing Person Response Protocol and Scent Discriminate K-9 Trailing Training

In addition to utilizing Scent Kits® that increase missing person awareness for at-risk populations, the COPS grant also includes training to improve agency missing person search response and performance and K-9 Unit trailing capabilities. Coley’s Missing Person Response Protocol is producing successful results for law enforcement responders and search and rescue teams across the US and is endorsed by the Florida State University Emergency Management and Homeland Security Department.
Coley has also developed an effective system of standardized scent discriminate trailing techniques and scent collection methods and technology that are producing higher success rates than traditional K9 tracking practices. “We are seeing over 90% confirmed trail results using our program. We are excited about our partnership with the Granville Police Department and the impact these services will have on bringing the lost home and keeping their community safe,” said Coley.