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Rex, Gauge, Kojack and Pepper make up the canine members of the Vanderbilt University Police Department.
These dedicated canines are paired with their handlers, Lt. Gary Duncan, Master Patrol Officer Jason Bates, Master Patrol Officer Horace Lanier, and Police Officer Mark Mandel in helping keep the Medical Center and University safe.
The K-9 units engage in regular training exercises, as well as performing bomb sweeps at venues before large public gatherings. At night, the dogs go home and live with their handlers.
VUPD has had a dedicated K-9 Unit since June 2007, and Duncan, who was formerly with the K-9 Unit of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, came to Vanderbilt in January 2008 to head the unit.
“The bond has to be very strong,” Duncan says. “You’ve got to believe totally in the dog’s scenting ability. The human is the brains of the team, and the dog is the nose.”
Photographs by Joe Howell
K-9 units work to keep Vanderbilt safe
sniffing out trouble
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