Sergeant Matthew Grubb
Patrolman Peter Chuberko
The Ross Township Police Department has had a full time, continuously operating Canine Division since 1995. The detail was started with two canine teams, K9 Officer James Fitch and his partner Sari, and K9 Officer William Barrett and his partner Enno. It did not take long for the department to realize the wide-ranging benefits of the police/working-dog team.
Currently there are two canine teams serving Ross Township. Sergeant Matthew Grubb and his partner, K9 Airus have been working together since 2003. Many residents and visitors to Ross Township have noticed that K9 Airus looks much different from the German Shepherds they are use to seeing. Airus is a Belgian Malinois. The Malinois is the short-coated variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog. They are fawn colored with a black mask.
K9 Airus’ father was a famous police work dog from the JoeFarm Kennels in Belgium. Currently Airus has 5 brothers and sisters who are also police work dogs throughout the United States. Airus’ relatives include the famed, G'Bibber des Deux Pottois and Cartouche. In 2004 Airus competed in the Pennsylvania Chief’s Of Police K9 Trials and placed third in the western region in Obedience, Aggression Control, and Narcotics Detection. In 2005 Airus returned to the Pa. Chief’s Trials and won 1st place in the State for Obedience.
Sergeant Grubb is a Nationally accredited trainer of Police Patrol and Narcotics K9's through the North American Police Work Dog Association. Sergeant Grubb has trained a number of area Police K9 Teams and works with approximately 45 Western Pennsylvania Police K9 Units on a weekly basis.
In 2005, Officer Peter Chuberko was assigned to the K9 Division and was paired with K9 Uvo. Uvo is a German Shepherd Dog, imported from Hungary. Uvo has a long and distinguished pedigree including such famous dogs as Mink v. Haus Wittfeld and Yoschy Dollenwiese.
Both Airus and Uvo were purchased from Northcoast K9 in Sandusky, Oh. While at Northcoast, both dog teams completed over 250 hours of rigorous instruction. Every year, the K9 Units are required to certify their performance through the North American Police Work Dog Association. Every week the K9 Units spend 4 hours training to maintain their proficiency.
The K9 Division helps the Ross Police Department perform their duties safer and faster than we would be able to do without the dog teams. The canines save the department hundreds of man-hours every year. The canines freely and willingly go into areas officers are not able to. The Ross Police Department relies on the canines to use their special abilities to help locate suspects, evidence, narcotics or missing people quickly.
On average, The K9 Division provides assistance in over 275 calls for service yearly. The majority of these calls were for drug sniffs of residences and vehicles. Both Airus and Uvo are trained to detect the odors of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. The K9 Division is trained not only in narcotic detection, but offender tracking and apprehension, building searches, and evidence locating.
While the K-9 Division’s primary responsibilities are the safe apprehension of serious criminal offenders, the timely discovery of evidence, the protection of the public and officers, and the search for missing persons; they also serve as a link between the Ross Police Department and the community.
The use of the K9 Units in demonstrations, exhibitions, and special events opens lines of communication and understanding. The presence of the K-9 stimulates conversation and serves as a link between the officer and the community. There is also a significant psychological impact in the community - given the presence of a K-9 Unit. The perception of increased security is readily apparent during peripheral conversations during such demonstrations and special events.
Given the public perception and tangible link established by the K-9, between the department and the community, Ross’s K9 Officers often participate in demonstrations, special events, and other exhibitions by the public. During these events, the K9 Officers use their dogs to educate the community on its use; open a dialogue regarding K9 operations and community expectations.
Both Sergeant Grubb and Officer Chuberko share a strong bond with their canine partners. Both handlers take their canine home. The canines are part of their families. Each handler is issued a canine car for emergency call outs and transportation of the canine.
Should you like any additional information regarding the K9 Division or would like to schedule a demonstration for your civic group, please contact the Ross Township Police Department at 412-931-9070.