Pfc. Kevin Flower, Pfc. Danielle Braniff, and Klem
OCEAN CITY, Md.-- The Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) K-9 Unit recently welcomed a new team to the unit and will begin advanced monthly training under the supervision of a veteran unit member who recently completed a rigorous 12-week trainer course.
The police department says Pfc. Danielle Braniff and her K-9 partner, Klem, recently joined the K-9 Unit and are now certified by the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) as a patrol and drug detection police K-9 team. The two graduated from a six-week training program at Shallow Creek Kennels where they trained in patrol techniques, article and area searches and drug detection.
Officials say Klem, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, originally came to the United States from the Netherlands where he received his initial training. The two join a group of four additional K-9 patrol teams, which are an integral part of the OCPD.
In addition, OCPD says Pfc. Kevin Flower, a 12-year member of the K-9 Unit, recently graduated from a 12-week training program to learn how to train new K-9 handlers and their dogs. For the initial six weeks of his training, Pfc. Flower assisted in the training of 24 patrol and narcotic detection K-9’s, including Klem. During the last six weeks, officials say Pfc. Flower assisted in training new K-9 handlers, including Pfc. Braniff and other prospective K-9 handlers from across the region.
Officials say the first six weeks of training the K-9’s were incredibly physically demanding while the second six weeks were more mentally demanding, as students learned how to handle the K-9’s. Pfc. Flower will now be responsible for training the OCPD K-9 Unit, a task formerly done by an outside vendor.
“This unit has played a vital role in the OCPD for decades,” commented Chief Ross Buzzuro. “I have no doubt that Pfc. Braniff and Klem will make an excellent addition to the K-9 Unit and we are very excited that Pfc. Flower will now be taking over the training for the unit.