Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis welcomes OUPD's newest canine officer, Brody.

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis welcomes OUPD's newest canine officer, Brody.

Photographer: Ben Siegel/Ohio University

Ohio Department of Public Safety Director John Born said the purchase and training for Brody, including veterinarian care and other equipment, is funded by a federal grant and Ohio Homeland Security budget funds.

Ohio Department of Public Safety Director John Born said the purchase and training for Brody, including veterinarian care and other equipment, is funded by a federal grant and Ohio Homeland Security budget funds.

Photographer: Ben Siegel/Ohio University

OUPD Officer Adam Hoffman's new canine partner, Brody, is trained as an explosive-detection dog.

OUPD Officer Adam Hoffman's new canine partner, Brody, is trained as an explosive-detection dog.

Photographer: Ben Siegel/Ohio University

Featured Stories


Brody joins OUPD as second explosive-detection dog

Dogs will serve University and Southeastern Ohio


The newest addition to the Ohio University Police Department is an explosive-detection dog named Brody, who was introduced to the campus community and Southeastern Ohio during a special ceremony held at the Human Resources and Training Center last week.

Brody, a Belgian malinois, recently completed 10 weeks of training and is patrolling the Athens Campus alongside his handler, OUPD Officer Adam Hoffman. A two-year veteran of OUPD, Hoffman spent five weeks training with Brody in Columbus, traveling to different venues to gain exposure working within different types of facilities, including a training session at Ohio University's Lancaster Campus in early November.

After a brief adjustment period two months ago, Hoffman said Brody and his Labrador retriever at home are getting along nicely. “He has a lot of puppy in him, but Brody is friendly with everybody,” Hoffman said.

Comments from OUPD Chief Andrew Powers, OHIO President Roderick J. McDavis, and Ohio Department of Public Safety Director John Born were presented prior to introducing Brody to several members of the local media who attended the event.

Brody is the University’s second explosive-detection dog, and his arrival finalizes an initiative set forth by the Ohio Department of Public Safety and Ohio Homeland Security to ensure that Ohio’s universities — which attract thousands of people to various events — are protected from bomb threats.

“This technology has greatly enhanced our ability for the police department to respond to the needs of our region in the event of an explosive threat,” said McDavis. “The Ohio University family extends well beyond the campus and the region and the city limits. As we reflect on the fire that recently devastated a portion of Uptown Athens, we recognize the safety of our students is owed to the first responders across the region and the outpouring of support from our greater community.”

OUPD has the only two explosive-detection dogs in Southeastern Ohio, and Brody will provide an additional level of support to OHIO and the surrounding region, McDavis added. Alex, a Labrador retriever who was a rescue dog from Columbus, was the first explosive-detection dog to join OUPD.

Born, an OHIO alumnus, thanked McDavis, Powers, and the University community for providing an opportunity to support the region. “We know that universities are the centers of everything within a region,” he said. “As such, you attract large groups of people, and important people, especially if you’ve been a parent and are sending your child to the University. That is the most important person in the world. What we wanted to do was invest where we could in the prevention aspect of safety by making sure we’re able to provide a safe environment. There’s probably no more effective or powerful tool in the prevention toolkit than a canine. Their abilities are incredible.”

Gov. John Kasich and the state legislature created an initiative to ensure all Ohio’s schools are safer, from preschool to college, and the addition of explosive-detection dogs at four-year public institutions became a priority, Born explained. A program was then created to aid in response to potential bomb threats at universities and their surrounding communities.

In addition to OHIO, Kent State University, Cleveland State University, Central State University, and The University of Toledo were selected to receive canines in late fall. Bowling Green State University, The Ohio State University, and Youngstown State University received canines in June.

The cost for each canine is $12,767 and is funded through a federal grant and Ohio Homeland Security. Brody's food and equipment will be provided through the grant funding during his working life, Born said, shortly before he commended Powers for being one of the more progressive police chiefs among state universities.

“Being a graduate of Ohio University, it’s an easy personal choice, but the truth of the matter is without the leadership of the president and the chief, this wouldn’t be possible,” said Born. “So on behalf of someone who has family who lives in this area, and someone who graduated from this University — one of the finest university’s in Ohio and the nation — I’m so proud to be standing here as an alumnus providing this critical life-saving prevention tool.”

Powers expressed his gratitude to Born and McDavis and said he’s worked in university law enforcement for 24 years and cannot remember a time when there was such a close partnership between local law enforcement and the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

“I think that years ago, many of us in this field thought that we were an untapped resource and we’re certainly excited and pleased we’ve been tapped and are able to help at the regional level,” Powers said. “The partnerships we’ve had under director Born’s leadership have really been unprecedented. Our partnership with the local Ohio State Highway Patrol post also is unprecedented. They have been especially helpful and supportive to us.”