BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 25, 2011 – At a ceremony held in July, Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and Mike Harness, the college’s associate dean for finance and administration, presented a new state-of-the-art K-9 bite sleeve to the Virginia Tech Police Department.
The two presented the sleeve to Police Chief Wendell Flinchum and Maj. Kevin Foust, the university's deputy chief of police and assistant director of security, at Virginia Law Enforcement K-9 Memorial, located near the entrance to the college’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Virginia Tech Police K-9 Boris, who also attended the presentation, was the model used for the memorial during its fabrication.
The new sleeve will be used during community outreach demonstrations and other training programs.
Commenting on the importance of the gift, Flinchum said, “Events like this signify the true meaning of community outreach and contribute to our ability to sustain lasting community partnerships.”
The idea to purchase and donate the new bite sleeve came to light on July 13 at a K-9 demonstration during the Virginia Governor’s School held in part at the veterinary college. Judi Lynch, the college’s former director of special initiatives, attended the event which included Boris, a narcotics and patrol K-9 handled by Officer Jaret Reece, and Boomer, the department’s explosives K-9, and his handler Officer Larry Wooddell.
Lynch recalled Wooddell’s reaction when Boris bit down onto the sleeve to simulate an apprehension. Following the demonstration, Lynch asked about the effects of the K-9’s bite strength and the protection offered by the sleeve being used. She discovered that the durability of a bite sleeve and its ability to protect the person using it in a demonstration diminishes over time. Lynch suggested the current sleeve be replaced with a bite sleeve with the latest protective technology.
The new sleeve will offer an increased level of safety during K-9 demonstrations and contribute significantly to community outreach efforts.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 215 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 30,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $450 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.