By Elizabeth Clarke, LCU News
PINEVILLE, La. (LCU News) – Louisiana Christian University has welcomed to its security force a Belgian Malinois dog.
K9 Officer Willy joined the staff in May, allowing the dog to get accustomed to campus before students arrived for the fall semester.
“Students—as well as faculty and staff—love Willy,” said LCU Chief of Safety and Security John Dauzat. “He can be very loveable, but he also has an important job to do.”
Willy was born in December 2021 and trained by Gulf Coast K9 in the detection of narcotics.
“Willy is a force multiplier to help minimize the outside influence of illegal narcotics on our campus,” Dauzat said. “We’ve never had a considerable problem, but the presence of our K9 ensures that we deter any use on campus.”
Willy is the only K9 officer on a college campus in central Louisiana, according to LCU.
While still relatively uncommon, K9 officers are becoming part of the security forces at more colleges and universities across the country not only for narcotics but also for the detection of explosives. They may also be trained and used to locate missing persons.
LCU first introduced a K-9 to campus in December 2021. Unfortunately, Rex died in December 2022 following a brief illness.
Dean of Students Brian Manuel said having a K9 officer shows the university’s commitment to keeping our campus safe.
“He becomes almost like a second mascot,” Manuel said. “Students can’t wait to pet him when they come into chapel every week.”