East Penn Press

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FILE PHOTO Officer Craig J. Blose stands with Police K-9 Ajax during a 2007 interview with The Press. FILE PHOTO Officer Craig J. Blose stands with Police K-9 Ajax during a 2007 interview with The Press.

Former Police K-9 'Ajax' remembered for contributions to community

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 by DEBBIE GALBRAITH dgalbraithtnonline.com in Local News

Emmaus Police Department Chief David Faust has announced the passing of former Police K-9 Ajax.

K-9 Ajax was a male German Shepherd imported from the Czech Republic and was handled by K-9 Officer Craig J. Blose.

Faust said Ajax was cross-trained for patrol duties and narcotics. He dutifully served the Emmaus Police Department for seven years, six months having retired from active duty with honor in 2009. He died June 18.

Faust said since 1990, the Emmaus Lions Club has purchased every police dog for the borough, including Ajax.

"During his career, K-9 Ajax was largely responsible for 49 felony and 72 misdemeanor arrests," Faust said. "K-9 Ajax played a primary role in the seizure of 51.6 pounds of illegal narcotics having a combined street value of $175,000. K-9 Ajax recovered 34 weapons used in the commission of crimes of which 19 were stolen firearms.

"K-9 Ajax participated in more than 70 educational demonstrations for schools, neighborhood watch groups, Girl and Boy Scouts, churches and elderly and civic organizations. During the spring of 2005, Blose and Ajax appeared on the front cover of the first edition of Police K-9 Magazine."

Faust said Ajax was also responsible for many service related accomplishments including safely locating 21 individuals, which included a variety of health related and other physical conditions. Most notably, in 2005, Ajax tracked and located a five-year-old autistic boy who had wandered away from his home during severe storms.

K-9 Ajax accumulated numerous awards, recognition, letters of commendation and unit citations. Those include Pennsylvania State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, State Attorney General's Office, Allentown Police Department, Macungie Police Department, Salisbury Police Department, Alburtis Police Department, South Whitehall Police Department, Quakertown Police Department, Catasauqua Police Department, North Catasauqua Police Department, Walnutport Police Department, Fountain Hill Police Department, Richland Township Police Department, Springfield Township Police Department, Lehigh Valley International Airport and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

In a 2007 interview with The Press, Blose said German Shepherds' noses are about 10,000 times more sensitive than humans' when it comes to detecting and identifying and scents. Ajax was able to scent cocaine, heroin, marijuana, LSD, methamphetamine and crack cocaine.

Blose said Ajax did not need a starting point on a suspect's scent in an open air search. Ajax would just raise his head and sniff the air. He said dogs can smell dead skin cells literally everyone sheds. The wind carries the cells and they spread out in a cone shape that gets narrower and narrower at the shedding source the human. Blose also said Ajax could smell a suspect's adrenalin and their fear.

Blose said if Ajax did an exceptionally good job, Faust would say, "Give that dog a steak dinner on me."

Ajax lived with Blose and his family. "When our youngest son was 13 months old, we were in the back yard and Ajax was running around," Blose said. "There was a small baby pool there and my son was running around too. My son saw a ball floating in the pool and he reached way over the water to get the ball. He could have fallen in but Ajax, who was watching, grabbed him by the back of the pants and pulled him away from the pool."

"Any time we lose a police dog, we lose a member of our family," Faust said. "These dogs are highly trained and skilled and provide a significant advantage for law enforcement agencies in our day-to-day operations. Canines provide an extra level of safety for the officers as they possess instincts and capabilities not otherwise available through human nature. Ajax had an incredibly successful and distinguished career with the Emmaus Police Department. He will be sorely missed."