Roni – pronounced like pepperoni – a two-year-old Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd mix, completed a 12-week course last month along with his handler, Officer Phil Peng.
The course, called the Pennsylvania State Police Explosive Detection Canine Handler Course, includes both classroom instruction and hands-on field training, according to the university’s press release.
The duo is now certified in explosive detection, including evidence recovery for firearms and shell-casings.
Peng has been on the university’s police force for almost two years, stating he could not pass up the opportunity to join the K9 unit.
“Being two years on the job, a young officer, any opportunity that arose I took it, and if I got it I’d run with it,” Peng said. “Growing up I had multiple dogs and I’m very much a dog person. Being in the K-9 unit you work with your best friend.”
Lieutenant Matt White, who oversees the unit which was established in the 1990s, says police dogs play an important role in both the Penn State police department and other local agencies.