July 31, 2018
At DNREC’s Delaware State Parks, we are excited to share that we are expanding by 4 paws (8 paws to be exact)! In just a few short days, Officer Trevor Ditmore and Corporal John Lister of Delaware Natural Resources Police; State Park Enforcement will be headed to Vohne Liche kennels in Indiana to select two canines to bring home to Delaware. The kennel, a full service canine training facility, has trained Police and Military Dogs for over 5000 enforcement and government agencies.
“We will be selecting the canines that test best and fit with us during our time at the kennel,” says Ofc Ditmore when asked about their breeds. “Due to their specialties, they’ll either be German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois.”
Ofc Ditmore, a Natural Resource Officer of 4 years, will be stationed at Lums Pond State Park and primarily service northern Delaware State Parks. Cpl Lister, a Natural Resource Officer of 8 years, will be stationed with his animal at Cape Henlopen State Park, and primarily serving the southern Delaware State Parks.
“It makes sense to split our resources to get the most of training. Each team will still be able to be used in the others region if and when there are events or situations that merit it,” states Ofc Ditmore. The canines, which will both be trained in scent tracking and patrol in partnership with Delaware State Police, will be able to fulfill multiple tracking missions from lost hikers, missing children and elderly, and suspect apprehension. In addition to these duties, each canine team will specialize in either narcotic or explosive detection.
The addition of canine teams to Delaware Natural Resources Police; State Park Enforcement adds an additional layer of safety for park guests. A high visibility patrol, their presence will deter crime and at the same time engage the community. “The teams will be available for outreach through demonstrations and programming to the community as a whole and specific Delaware State Park events and summer camps.”
As Delaware State Parks prepares to launch its new canine program, we invite you to keep an eye on the DEStateParks blog and social media. In the coming days, we will be following the journey of Ofc Trevor Ditmore and Cpl John Lister as they head to Indiana to bring home the newest officers of Delaware Natural Resources Police; State Park Enforcement.