K-9 added to SWAT unit makes Cleveland police history

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CLEVELAND- There's a brand new member of the Cleveland Division of Police's SWAT unit.

"Goro's been full-time now almost four months," Sgt. Jose Delgado said.

(Photo courtesy Cleveland police)
(Photo courtesy Cleveland police)

His name is Goro and he's the first of his kind in Cleveland police history.

"We only want that dog to look for bodies, for individuals, not drugs. His only drive is to find people. It's another less-lethal force we can use, another option," Delgado said.

Delgado said there are only a handful of SWAT teams across the United States that has a full-time K-9 assigned to the team.

"It's new to us. And new to the company that supplied the dog because the training is different," said Delgado.

"Goro is a German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix. I went over and hand selected him from my vendor in Slovakia," said Paul Shaughnessy with ExcelK9 Services. Shaughnessy said Goro is not your average K-9 officer: He's trained in special operations.

"We do a lot of extensive training on obedience. Also, we trained Goro to go into tight spaces and go into places that the normal police dog would not do searches at," Shaughnessy said.

"Most K-9 dogs have handlers who operate alone. This dog will have to socialize and operate with other officers in close proximity," Delgado said.

Just as Goro was hand-picked to become a member of the SWAT Team, his handler was handpicked from the SWAT team to take care of him.

"The time I've had in the SWAT unit and now the time handling our new K-9 in the SWAT unit, I have the best job you could imagine," Patrolman Jason Warrington said.

"He's a young dog. He's not even two yet, but he's not fully mature yet, but he's learning. He's learning something every day," Warrington said.

"We have our robots; we have cameras, but adding that nose of a dog adds another layer of protection for us and a tool to locate individuals," Delgado said.

Delgado said that if Goro remains successful with the team, they will look at adding another SWAT K-9 in the future.

*Read more stories on police K-9s here*

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