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September 19, 2021

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Bluffton PD K9 had a busy year

During one vehicle sniff in particular, K9 Kato alerted on a vehicle and a subsequent search of the vehicle produced 78.43 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 2.94 grams of fentanyl and .18 grams of a methamphetamine/fentanyl mixture

The following report to Bluffton council lists the usage of Kato, the Bluffton Police Department's K9. Sergeant Tyler Hochstetler, Kato's handler, provided details in the report.

With the conclusion of the 2019 calendar year, we want to update you on the Bluffton Police Department’s K9 usage.

2019 saw K9 Kato involved in numerous different activities, including but not limited to:
• numerous vehicle sniffs for illegal drugs,
• a school sniff at McComb schools,
• a  successful track of a suicidal subject,
•  a track for armed robbery suspects resulting in the location of evidence during the track,  
• and logging over 192 hours of state mandated maintenance training.

During one vehicle sniff in particular, K9 Kato alerted on a vehicle and a subsequent search of the vehicle produced 78.43 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 2.94 grams of fentanyl and .18 grams of a methamphetamine/fentanyl mixture. All felony level amounts of illegal narcotics.

During another vehicle sniff, K9 Kato alerted on a vehicle which, after a subsequent search, resulted in locating 16.5 grams of marijuana concentrate, another felony level drug seizure.

K9 Kato was requested to respond to the Clark gas station on Bluelick Road in rural Allen County after the clerk was robbed at gunpoint.

Allen County requested K9 Kato for a track of the suspects. During the track, it was determined the suspects had gotten in a vehicle and left, however K9 Kato was able to locate three stolen items along the path of the track that were collected and used as evidence.

On June 28, K9 Kato’s birthday, he was called in on his day off to track a missing, suicidal person near the Bluffton University nature preserve. The suspect had harmed himself near the “Swinging Bridge” and officers did not pursue due to the erratic and potentially dangerous behavior the subject was displaying.

After an Allen County deputy observed the suspect run into the thick, wooded area of the nature preserve, K9 Kato was deployed on a track through the thick vegetation and swampy area and ultimately located the subject hiding behind a tree.  

Most recently, in December, K9 Kato had just returned home from his monthly maintenance training when a pursuit, initiated by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, went by the village.

K9 Kato and I joined in the pursuit in the event the suspect, was wanted and stole a motorhome, ran from the police. The pursuit ended at the S.R. 309 exit in Lima and after a standoff of approximately 30 minutes, the suspect gave up and surrendered to police. K9 Kato was used to clear the rest of the motorhome the suspect had stolen

2019 was very good for K9 Kato and I. as we learned a lot and we strive to become a better team to serve the Village of Bluffton and any other officer or community that may need our assistance. 

Below is a breakdown of K9 Kato’s usage for the 2019 calendar year

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