Canine police officer visits Ramsay Elementary
Officer George Grippo of the Mt. Pleasant Police Department will tell you that he has the best partner out there — and Gerro his certified police canine will wag his tail in agreement.
As a way to bring awareness to Red Ribbon Week and its message of drug prevention and awareness, Grippo and Gerro recently visited local schools and did demonstrations to groups, showing youths how the pair work together to battle the drug problem in the area.
“We have been involved in more then 80 arrests,” Grippo told a group of elementary school children at Ramsay Elementary School.
Over the past few weeks, Grippo and Gerro have been to the Norvelt and Donegal elementary schools, Yough Middle School, Mt. Pleasant Area High School and did a demonstration for the Pleasant Manor youth group.
“They like to see the dog and the demonstrations,” Grippo said. “Plus it's a good opportunity for them to see what a canine officer can do and how they assist the police department.”
Grippo presented about a half-hour program to the students, explaining what Gerro does, how they do it and why it is important for them to continue taking classes on a regular basis.
“We go to school every week just like you do, and we have to work hard just like you do,” Grippo told the students.
Ramsay school counselor Cassie Moorhead said having Grippo and Gerro come to the school is a great educational event.
“I think this is a great way to educate the students about his dog Gerro and what they do as a team in the community,” Moorhead said. “Students get a chance to ask questions that can then further help them to understand what it is that they do.”
Grippo explained how Gerro detects narcotics and how he reacts when he discovers them, but the one thing that he stressed is that he is the only one that can ever know the command words that are used.
“If you know the words then he will do what you say,” Grippo said. “He doesn't care who says it, he obeys his commands.”
Grippo explained how Gerro uses air current for scent detection and how having a dog commands respect when dealing with crowd situations.
“Four or five police officers may have a difficult time controlling a large group of people but with one dog, the whole crowd listens,” Grippo said.
Grippo told the students Gerro knows when it's time to work and when it's time to play.
“All these police dogs are friendly,” Grippo said. “But they can be very mean if they are told to be. It's just like a light switch, they can change that quickly if they are told to.”
Grippo is invited to the schools in the Mt. Pleasant Area School District at least once a year to show what they do in the community and also to answer any questions students may have on what is needed to be a good canine team.
“I couldn't ask for a better partner,” Grippo said. “We're good team.”
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Charges advance for men accused in police scuffle at Fort Ligonier Days
- Hempfield man receives long-overdue Bronze Star for World War II service
- Longtime Greensburg District Judge Albert will seek fifth term
- Arnold man’s molestation conviction upheld
- Rostraver Democrat aims for 1 of 3 open spots on Westmoreland County bench
- 3 injured in 2-vehicle accident on Arona Road in Hempfield
- Westmoreland County settles with fired public defender
- Suspect in West Newton burglary sought; alleged accomplice arrested
- Woman pays $178 fine for Westmoreland courthouse conduct
- Tanker crash closes lane of Turnpike in Penn Township
- Endowment of $3.49B makes University of Pittsburgh 25th richest in U.S.