Meet Marcus, an eight-year-old black Labrador explosives detector with the Butler University Police Department. The Department is a recent recipient of one of the National Police Dog Foundation’s 2019 Heat Alarm Grants.
K-9 Marcus, and his handler, Sergeant Jason Downs, have worked for seven years ensuring the safety of the students and the public by doing sweeps for explosive devices at events at the university. Marcus also assists the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) when needed, and works at the Indy 500.
Recently, Marcus assisted IMPD in a Hollywood like scenario, where a serious violent felon ran from police armed with a handgun. But, when the suspect was apprehended the handgun was nowhere to be found. Within minutes of arriving, K-9 Marcus located the gun’s magazine in one backyard and the handgun in another.
Another of Marcus’ many talents is interacting with the public. Sergeant Down has been told many times that meeting Marcus has “made their day!” In one of the photos below Marcus can be seen establishing “public relations” with one of Butler’s young admirers. There’s no “alert” there, just nose rubs, giggles, and tail wags!! Public relations and awareness is an important function of this K-9 unit all while keeping the public safe.
“Due to the overwhelming cost of equipment and the fact my department does not have a budget set aside for our K-9 Unit, means we solely depend on donations,” Sergeant Down said in the grant application. He went on to say, “Without this essential equipment the horrific reality is that the vehicle could overheat rapidly and Marcus would be trapped inside with no way to get out. Tragically, Marcus could die of heat-stroke without this heat alarm unit…Marcus’ life is just as important as the lives we strive to protect.”
Thanks to a matching grant from Spirit of Blue and generous donations from donors like you, the National Police Dog Foundation is happy to have been able to provide a Heat Alarm grant for K-9 Marcus and Sergeant Downs.
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K-9 Marcus working at the Indy 500
K-9 Marcus keeping the public safe at graduation