Mustangs, meet Zeus and Valor. These lovable German Shepherds might look like your average dogs, but they maintain a big job on campus as the official Cal Poly Police Department K9s. Now, let’s give our furry protectors some recognition!
Zeus, a fluffy five-year-old K9, has been with Cal Poly since 2018. He specializes in patrol, weapon detection and hard surface tracking. Officer Stephanie Pipan has been Zeus’ partner in crime (pun intended) since the beginning. Zeus was picked specifically for Officer Pipan, making the two very close partners.
Next is Valor who has been with Cal Poly since 2020. He is now three years old and has been specifically trained in patrol and narcotics detection. Officer Chad Reiley is Valor’s handler. Valor and Officer Reiley work and train together almost every day!
Zeus and Valor’s main responsibilities include patrolling Cal Poly to keep dangerous items such as narcotics and weapons off the campus. In addition to this they also perform detection sweeps before big events to keep the campus community safe prior to large group gatherings such as graduation and concerts.
Probably the most valuable thing about these police dogs is their highly sensitive sense of smell. A dog’s sniff can detect much more than a human nose can, which is why these dogs are trained to smell narcotics, weapons and even missing people. Often times these K9s can deter criminal activity just by their presence.
Together these pairs have helped protect the Cal Poly community for years. Sometimes you can find the K9s and their handlers on their regular patrols around campus where they meet a lot of students and faculty. Not only do they serve as means of protection, but they also help connect the police with the community. The dogs are very friendly and enjoy meeting folks when walking in public, at events or when someone just wants to meet them because they are having a bad day.
Officer Pipan believes that every police department should have a K9 unit and at Cal Poly we are lucky to have two awesome K9s like Zeus and Valor. I mean come on, look at those cute faces!