Bowling Green State University Law Enforcement Training Day

LORAIN, Ohio (WJW) — Tuesday was a training day for freshmen in the criminal justice program at Bowling Green State University.

The students witnessed the Lorain Police Department’s canine unit show off their skills, tenacity and ferocity at the city’s police training center.

One by one, the department’s specially trained German Shepherds made their way through a maze, located an officer’s hideout, and bit into a special suit he was wearing for protection.

While explaining the importance of his canine partner, Constable Adam Ehrke said, “Dogs are a tracking tool for us. They find people, things, evidence, basically anything we teach them to find. Their main function is to make sure everyone else on the street, myself included, gets home at night. That’s what they do, that’s what they’re trained to do.

As part of the program, BGSU students took turns using a battering ram to break down a locked door.

They also learn first-hand from instructors about the tactics and techniques officers use every day and the challenges they face in units like the SWAT team.

“I plan to be a future SWAT officer. To be able to see something like this, so early in my potential future career, it’s really awesome. It’s definitely better than sitting in a classroom all day take notes,” said BGSU student Jacob Stonerook.

In one of the most intense exercises, instructors gave students a feel for what it’s like to search a house or building for people who may or may not pose a threat to them.

They had to decide in a split second whether to shoot or not as they moved through a maze with posters of various suspects and innocent bystanders. It provided a small sample of the pressures officers can face and was an eye opener for students.

“It’s very interesting to see that these people are preparing for the worst, so they have to train in life-threatening situations,” said BGSU student Julia Roffman.

At a time when policing is under intense scrutiny and, in some cases, criticism, some students hope to bring their own approach to policing when they one day return to the communities they plan to serve.

BGSU student Antonio Carrero, who grew up in Cleveland, told FOX 8, “Police get a lot of bad ‘reputations’ from the minority community and also being a minority, I want to help, show them the good side of law enforcement. You know they can really help make a difference in people’s lives.

Lorain Police Command officers say the training day provides the department with an opportunity to identify candidates for police work and begin the recruitment process.

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