Tripwire assists with K9 training; Written by Chris Cappella, The Evening Sun
The speed limit on the main road just a few hundred feet from Tripwire Operations Group near Gettysburg is 45 miles per hour.
At first glance, the tractor-trailers and cars going by might seem dangerous for the dogs running around the property. They’re not on a leash, and there’s no fence.
However, these aren’t your ordinary dogs.
These are trained K-9s used to help sniff out fumes from bombs and detonators. Joris Kerckhof, inspector at the Federal Dog Support Unit and a silent narcotic dog handler in Belgium, was on the Tripwire campus for the week to help.
“Joris has taught me things I learned in a week here that some people, it would take years and years to learn,” said Michael Loney, a Tripwire employee. “There’s always a different way. They say in the K-9 world if you don’t learn something new every day, you’re not cut for it. That’s why we have Joris here.”
Tripwire is a multi-faceted company that helps train and educate first responders and law enforcement officers around the world, said CEO Ryan Morris. The company also sells equipment and provides free firearm safety classes to the public, he said.
Morris and Kerckhof met each other a few years ago at a K-9 conference in Nashville, Morris said. The chance to host an award-winning dog handler was something his business couldn’t pass up, he said.
“Joris is an exceptional, exceptional dog handler and a good human being. Those are the kind of people we want to absorb into this company to make us better,” Morris said.
Morris and Kerckhof were also joined by David Adebimpe. Adebimpe is the owner of ScentLogix, a training packet for K-9s that gives off specific explosive scents without the danger of the explosive itself.
Keeping the dogs out of danger is important, Kerckhof said. There are times, especially early in training sessions, where the dogs might get too excited or anxious. If that were to happen in a real situation, it could result in the loss of life.
“Not only do we not want that, but it could get expensive too,” Kerckhof said.
Adebimpe is now partnering with Morris and Tripwire to use some of their resources and connections, he said.
“This is a tough business to be in; it’s like exploiting misery” Adebimpe said. “Why should I be the guy saying hooray when there’s a bomb blast because my business might get better. It’s not good.”
The week was a good “meeting of the minds”, Adebimpe said. The trio spent long days together in training sessions and were able to throw ideas around on how to improve their companies. Getting others ready for bomb situations is a necessary evil, he said.
“It’s something we don’t pray for, but it’s something we want our troops to be ready for,” he said.
(Joris Kerckhof, a K9 training specialist from Brussels, Belgium talks with members of Tripwire Operations Group, including CEO Ryan Morris, right, on Thursday Dec. 17, 2015 at Tripwire Operations Group in Gettysburg. Kerchkhof has been spending the week with Tripwire helping train first responders in K9 operations.)
(Ryan Morris, CEO of Tripwire Operations Group, shows a display of explosive ordinance disposal suits and equipment at Tripwire’s offices in Gettysburg on Thursday morning Dec. 17, 2015. )
(Ryan Morris, CEO of Tripwire Operations Group, explains the elements of a modified AR15 at Tripwire’s offices Thursday morning Dec. 17, 2015 in Gettysburg.)
(David Adebimpe, creator and owner of ScentLogix, a product that creates safe non-explosive odors for K9 detection programs, shows an example between a Scentlogix dynamite detection kit and real dynamite Thursday Dec. 17, 2015 at Tripwire Operations Group in Gettysburg.)