HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- The Harrisonburg Police Department Canine Nobel has answered his last call for service as a Police K9. K9 Nobel was brought into the states in 2005 from Europe and was trained as a Police K9. K9 Nobel served his community as a dual-purpose police dog who was trained in explosive detection and patrol utility (tracking, article searches, building searches, and apprehension work). Fittingly, K9 Nobel was named after Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite and other explosive components.
Nobel had a great career as a police canine. He was known for his intimidating size, strength, stamina and reliability. He collected several awards throughout his tenure in both categories of explosive detection and patrol utility. Some of K9 Nobel’s accolades included finishing first place in the Iron Dog Competition and receiving Case of the Year in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010.
He has been instrumental in the investigation of several high profile criminal cases and has provided numerous explosive safety sweeps for our schools, businesses and James Madison University. The service that he has provided over the past nine years has been invaluable; however, recently his health has declined and it has affected his ability to work as a reliable service dog. Therefore, Nobel has officially been retired from the Harrisonburg Police Department. He has been relinquished to his handler for retirement.
K9 Nobel has been replaced by a single-purpose explosive detection canine that was donated by the U.S. Military.
In the Spring of 2014, the HPD was informed of a program to adopt military K9s to be used in law enforcement. The department submitted an application to adopt a Military war dog (MWD) from the U.S. Military. At the end of May, the department was informed that the application through the government was approved and the acquisition of a single-purpose explosive detection canine had been granted to the Harrisonburg Police Department. The acquisition of the military canine is at no cost to our department and is already trained. Therefore, the process to certify and deploy this new canine on the street will be streamlined.
The new HPD bomb dog is a four-year-old German Shepherd named Ziva. She is originally from the Netherlands, but spent the majority of her life as a MWD.
She is currently in training as HPD’s bomb detection dog and will officially replace Nobel’s position within the K9 Unit upon certification through the Virginia Police Canine Association.