(By Kim Ryan) The Fort Myers Beach Woman’s Club invited members to bring a guest to this past Wednesday’s monthly meeting. It included a special presentation by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad. That visit included some very cool technology and a few extremely smart four-legged friends.
The large group was treated to a demonstration of how the bomb robot operates and how it’s utilized in a variety of situations. The robot has multiple cameras, it can go up stairs, open a locked door using a special attachment which can hold a key, and be remotely controlled for up to 100 yards.
Meeting attendees asked officer Rick Errett many questions throughout the demonstration including how much the robot cost. He said the robot costs about $400,000 which the group felt was well worth it, to protect those who protect us.
Following the robot demo was Sgt. Rob Elwell and his 3 year dog Kane. Sgt Elwell is the head trainer and has been with the LCSO for 19 years, 15 of those in the K-9 unit.
LCSO currently has 21 dogs who work in a variety of settings to detect the scent of drugs, assist in apprehensions, and work in the schools.
The K9 unit includes a variety of different breeds including German Shepards, Belgian Malinois, Labrador Retrievers, Bloodhounds and Golden Retrievers.
Sgt Elwell discussed the lengthy training process, both the dogs and the handlers have to go through. He explained how they choose dogs for the program and where they get them from. He then demonstrated Kane’s amazing ability to locate an item he previously hid. At the end of the evening the officer brought out an adorable bloodhound who also assists in the K9 unit and was a big hit with the audience.
The presentation was well received and appreciated by all. A big thanks to the Lee County Officers as well as Tiffany Wood, LCSO’s Crime Prevention Specialist and Destiny Unsworth, LCSO’s Community Response Coordinator for the Fort Myers Beach outreach center.
The Woman’s club invites all who might be interested in joining to come check out the club at one of their meetings.