Sign In

MTSU’s Police Dog

October 2, 2020

For MTSU Police K9 handler and patrol specialist Zachery Brooker, the loyalty he receives from his K9 Bobby “can’t be compared.”

This month marks the anniversary of the dog’s first year of service for the campus police department. Bobby and Brooker have been “very fortunate to have a really good first year” and the other officers “love having Bobby here,” Brooker said.

Bobby is a 2-year-old German shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix. Brooker, originally from Michigan, joined the MTSU department in May 2017. He had been a member of the military and graduated from the Walters State Police Academy before meeting Bobby, but K9 training was “seriously the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

In addition to the dog’s capabilities of tracking others and alerting to the presence of illicit substances, the K9 adds an important safety aspect to the community: suspects are more compliant because of Bobby’s presence, and he can “defend and protect both officers and civilians,” Brooker said.

He encourages the other officers to get to know their furry coworker. They’re always welcome to play and spend time with Bobby because the stronger the relationships are between Bobby and his human team, the more successful they’ll all be in the field, he said.

The dog feeds off of everyone’s energy. “It’s what he lives for,” said Brooker, “that ‘good boy,’ that praise, and his toys, of course.”

One winter night, Bobby’s keen sense of smell and training helped to safely reunite a child, wandering out in the cold, with his mother. Most recently, he tracked down and apprehended a suspect.

Bobby also has helped the Murfreesboro Police Department and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.

Brooker’s job doesn’t stop when he clocks out. Bobby comes home with him. The dog’s lifestyle is like that of an athlete’s: healthy treats like carrots and apples, hydration, rest and recovery and plenty of training and exercise. Brooker starts each morning by taking Bobby out for a 30-minute game of fetch.

Being the department’s sole K9 handler also means long hours at work.

“There are days when it’s tough, you’re tired,” said Brooker. “There’s been more times than not with him where because of his capabilities, he’s had to stay late. It’s always worth it to see the officers’ reactions to him doing his job well.”

Bobby has been out to several campus events where people “love on him,” and all of his interactions have been positive, Brooker said.

“We work really hard together, and we do it for the campus community,” said Brooker. “I can’t express enough that it’s for them. This department really cares about the community it serves.”

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more