Kent State gets two new furry officers


Kent State University’s new police dog Dexter held by his accompanying K9 officer Miguel Witt in the Student Center on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.

Katie Chilson

Kent State police officers Anne Spahr and Miguel Witt attended a Student Quality Advisory Committee meeting Thursday with their canine partners, CoCo and Dexter, to talk about Kent’s new K-9 unit member.

Those who attended the meeting got to see Dexter search and find a fake explosive hidden in the room, with a simple command from Witt.

“You have to constantly watch the dog’s body language,” Spahr said to those at the meeting. “He is communicating with you.”

Dexter joined the Kent State police department in the middle of October and has been working with him since. Although the dog is trained to be a police dog, Dexter and Witt still had to train together.  

“We would go to different environments, bus garages, older schools that were closed, car dealerships, anything you could think of,” Witt said. “Since all of the dogs mainly were from universities they were trying to get it to where it was a real environment situation. That was pretty much the training all day every day.”

Dexter joined the Kent State police department from a grant from the Ohio Homeland Security, a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Kent was given a grant for Dexter so safety could be enhanced on campus.

Spahr and Witt said they know how to discern their dog’s actions and what they mean as they are partners, in it together.

“Officer Witt and Officer Spahr are fantastic,” Dean Tondiglia, Chief of Police, said. “They really do a great job. They are great canine handlers and we’re really happy to have them. The whole program has worked out well.”

Contact Katie Chilson at [email protected].