BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Buffalo Police Officer James Howe said the department's K-9 dogs get the job done when it comes to finding and arresting criminals. He said when the dogs are in sight the criminals freeze in their track.
That's what happened on Tuesday, when a police dog named Stark cornered burglars at a vacant building in Buffalo.
Stark, 2, is a German Shepard and is more than just man's best friend.
"Initially, canines were used for building searches, crowd control. We got away from that philosophy," Howe said.
Now, Stark is catching criminals red-handed.
"Myself and the dog went in and there were three individuals with hacksaws ready to cut the copper piping," Howe said.
The dog caught three West Side men in the basement of the Episcopal Nursing Home Complex in Buffalo, a building that has been vacant for more than a year. Thanks to Stark, the men were taken into custody without incident, without the copper, and Officer James Howe said without much dignity.
"Once they realize the dog was there they are pretty compliant and follow my command," Howe said.
The Buffalo Police Department has six dogs just like Stark and officers said they have become their partners in fighting crime.
"He really is a great partner," Howe said.
Those furry friends go through about 15 weeks of training. Then, they take refresher courses twice a month.
Authorities said with the dogs help they are able to put more criminals behind bars, without weapons, just a few loud barks.