Spartie the dog joins the ranks of CWRU PD


Courtesy of CWRU PD

Newly sworn-in K-9 officer Spartie poses next to his handler, Officer Jimiyu Edwards of the Case Western Reserve Police Department.

Cameron Ward, Staff Writer

In an effort to increase security and comfort on the Case Western Reserve University campus, the Division of Public Safety decided to hire a new officer. But don’t let his furry face deceive you—Spartie, the campus’s first K-9 officer, is here to serve an important role on campus.

In an effort to learn more about our new officer, Megan Koeth, executive director of public safety, answered all our questions about Spartie’s start here, his training and his future role on campus. She said that the idea for a K-9 officer on campus initially came about due to two main factors: research and pressure.

Research shows that college campuses that support K-9 programs often see strengthened bonds, increased comfort, support and reduced stress across the campus. As for pressure, with a rise in bomb threats on campuses across the nation, having an explosive detection dog on hand can help decrease anxiety and shorten wait times while threats are investigated. Though a majority of these threats lack credibility, all threats must be investigated thoroughly, and Spartie can help to restore normalcy during and after these events. While this is all true, the real encouragement to bring the K-9 program to campus came from Officer Jimiyu Edwards.

Officer Edwards has been with the CWRU Police Department for 17 years, working both in patrols and field training, but he had “long wanted” to bring the K-9 program to the university. His “eager” advocacy for the program, combined with his love for dogs, helped ensure that the K-9 program would have a secure place in the department. Officer Edwards and Spartie completed their 12-week training program together this past December, and Spartie lives at Edward’s home when off duty.

Aside from explosive detection, Spartie is also trained in comfort interaction, which contributes to his main mission of bringing smiles and comfort to anyone who may need it. Officer Edwards plans on bringing him around campus and to large events. If you want to meet Spartie, also be on the lookout for smaller events in the future, where he will serve in a community engagement and service role during times of high anxiety such as exam season. The most important thing to remember, though, is that Spartie is a working dog. If you see him on campus, make sure to ask Officer Edwards if it’s okay before you approach to pet him.