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HIRAM, Ohio (WJW) — Several local police departments are celebrating the addition of new police dogs ready to suit up for service in their communities.

Excel K-9 Services, a detection, kennel and training facility, hosted the Graduation and Open House for the Summer 2022 Class of New Police Service Dog Teams on Friday morning.

The open house, at 6454 Winchell Road in Hiram, featured a meet and greet and also demonstrations by the K-9 officers and their handlers.

Paul Shaughnessy, president at Excel K-9, says the modern-day police dog is not a vicious animal at the end of a leash.

“He’s there to greet the people,” Shaughnessy said in an interview with FOX 8. “Police are just like everybody else. They are approachable. The dog is a great tool so that everybody should feel comfortable going up and talking to their local police officer.”

He said the dog’s keen sense of smell for narcotics or explosives becomes a great tool for the department and the community.

“There’s nothing better than if you live in a community and you have a problem, you call the police and you expect them to show up and have the right tool for the job and to do it in a professional way. All these dogs here are friendly but they are ready to go out and do their job.”

Here’s a list of communities adding a new four-legged member to their force:

  • Euclid Police Department
  • Cleveland Police Department
  • Parma Heights Police Department
  • Metro Hospital Police Department
  • Brunswick Police Department
  • Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office
  • Akron Children’s Hospital Police Department
  • Lake County Sheriff’s Office
  • Brecksville Police Department

Shaughnessy said that in lieu of a diploma, the K-9s get a ball and cake at the graduation celebration.