University Police announces expansion of K-9 Unit

November 26, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A new K-9 officer has joined Penn State University Police, enhancing the force’s ability to detect explosives, collect evidence and support safety at Penn State.

Roni, a 2-year-old male Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd mix, and his handler, University Police Officer Phil Peng, recently successfully completed the Pennsylvania State Police Explosive Detection Canine Handler Course. The 12-week course encompasses both classroom instruction and practical hands-on field training. The program culminates with a comprehensive academic exam.

Peng and Roni are certified in explosive detection, which includes evidence recovery for firearms and shell-casings.

“I am quite honored and ecstatic to be the next K-9 handler at Penn State. After an extensive training, Roni and I look forward to supporting public safety in our community,” said Peng, who has been an officer with University Police for a year and a half.

Peng and Roni join Officer Dustin Miller and K-9 Rudie and Officer Josh Quimby and K-9 Wail in the University Police K-9 Unit. All are stationed at University Park.

Officers pose outside with K-9

University Police Officer Phil Peng and K-9 Roni join Officer Dustin Miller and K-9 Rudie and Officer Josh Quimby and K-9 Wail in the University Police K-9 Unit. All are stationed at University Park. 

IMAGE: Patrick Mansell

The K-9 Unit routinely patrols and provides security services at key University infrastructure across Pennsylvania. Additionally, the unit responds to more than 30 emergency calls for service annually, ranging from investigating bomb threats at schools and businesses to providing security at large venues.

“The K-9 Unit contributes to public safety efforts at University Park and Penn State’s campuses throughout Pennsylvania. Our K-9 Unit also routinely assists other law enforcement agencies as needed in emergency situations,” said University Police Lt. Matt White, who supervises the K-9 Unit. “Utilizing police dogs is the most efficient and effective way to search large areas for explosives and threats because of their natural physical abilities combined with their natural instincts and behaviors.”

University Police established a K-9 Unit in the 1990s. Since then, the unit has grown to address a steady increase in calls for service and an increased need to patrol key University infrastructure across Pennsylvania. 

About University Police and Public Safety

Established in 1926 as Campus Patrol, today Penn State University Police and Public Safety is responsible for protecting and serving more than 100,000 Penn State students, employees and visitors at 22 campuses located throughout Pennsylvania.

In 2017, Penn State centralized University Police and Public Safety by combining campus-based units into one cohesive department under the direction of the assistant vice president for police and public safety. The unified department has roughly 135 full-time and part-time police officers, 75 non-sworn and civilian staff, and roughly 90 student employees.

University Police and Public Safety provides multiple resources and services, including police services, behavioral threat management, Clery compliance and emergency management. The department also includes a K-9 Unit and Community-Oriented Policing Unit.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 26, 2018