Back on patrol

Glenrock Police Officer Bill Frieda prepares to release the department’s K-9 narcotics detection dog Yarra on a demonstration run June 6, where she will sniff out the location of marijuana in a vehicle on the lot. Cinthia Stimson photo

Cinthia Stimson

The sleek, brown and tan police dog ran around the parked vehicle on high alert – intent on a mission with every muscle in her body ready to react to the scent of drugs in a split second.
She kept coming back to one spot on the car – the right-hand side passenger’s door. With a deep inhalation of air through her nostrils, she planted her nose firmly on the metal door and sat, eyes pointed straight ahead, alerting her handler to the location of the drugs.
Yarra is a friendly, lovable, 5-year-old Belgian Malinois – and she’s Glenrock Police Department’s narcotics canine.
She performed the drug search last week during a demonstration, but to her the search for marijuana hidden in a vehicle was real.
GPD’s Officer Bill Frieda is Yarra’s best friend and handler.
“She’s with me 24/7,” said Frieda. “She’s a love bug. She’s always ready to go and up for anything.”
Sometime in late March or early April of last year (Frieda couldn’t recall the exact time), Yarra was injured.
She’d torn her meniscus and ACL on her back left leg. Frieda said they still don’t know how she hurt herself.
Despite her injury, she attended training in Louisiana for two weeks in June, receiving all of her required certifications for alerting on marijuana, meth and cocaine scents.
Returning home, Yarra went through several veterinary evaluations in Glenrock and Douglas before being referred to Colorado State University (CSU) for an assessment August 9. Her leg was operated on the next day.
Four-and-a-half months of physical therapy came next.
“She was off of work for that time. The first week she came to work with me and stayed with the dispatchers. I needed to keep eyes on her every day, all day,” he said. “The rehabilitation took a lot of time, a lot of work.”
In January Yarra received the all-clear from Westside Animal Hospital in Casper and she’s been back to work and training hard ever since.
At the end of May, Frieda and Yarra returned from the National Police Canine Association’s week long training in Jackson. There, she passed additional certifications for scenting on and finding MDMA (ecstasy) and heroin.
“Yarra’s back into the full swing of things and we’re ready to roll. The next thing we’ll go to is interdiction training and further drug-related instruction,” he said.
Earlier this year the department added a new canine unit to the police fleet – a 2019 Chevy Tahoe, specifically designed to care for police dogs, according to GPD Chief David Theel.
“The compartment that Yarra goes in, is designed specifically for a working canine to be in. There’s an appropriate amount of room for her to stand up in, move around or lay down in. The point is for her safety – to get from point A to point B in a comfortable and safe way,” he said.
With that in mind, the vehicle is equipped with temperature detectors and alarms that will go off if the vehicle gets too hot or too cold inside.
“Yarra is an important member of the department,” Theel said.


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday - 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Subscriber Login