Public Safety

University Police K9 Unit

Downs_Marcus_HinkleThe Butler University Police Department K-9 Unit was established in December 2011 with one police service dog, Marcus, and his handler Officer Jason Downs.  Marcus was purchased through a generous gift by an anonymous donor.

Marcus is a Lab trained specifically for explosives detection which will compliment our partnership with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to sweep and protect our major sporting event and theatre sites on campus. Butler University routinely hosts high profile events and visits by political figures. In addition to Butler venues Marcus and Officer Downs as a team will be detailed to the IMPD and the Indiana University Police Department to sweep other event sites throughout Indianapolis as needed.

Off duty, police service dogs live with their handlers and become an integral part of their families. Marcus was selected based on his sociability, intelligence, and ability to train. Marcus joins Blue II on campus, but likely won't be as famous!

Training and use of K9's on university campusesMarcus Outside

Marcus is available for community demonstrations and rumor has it, he can dance. K-9 Handler Officer Jason Downs joined the University Police Department in November 2008. He was previously a K-9 handler with the New Castle Indiana Police Department. Officer Downs and Marcus will rotate through the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) K9 Training Program on a monthly basis. Marcus was purchased from Pacific Coast K9 and in addition to partnering with IMPD Marcus and Officer Downs have teamed-up for extended training on explosives with Scott's K9 program.  

Marcus will become a familiar face at Hinkle Field House and Clowes Memorial Hall as another tool to protect our institution, faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Since 2010, Butler has been partnering with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to conduct K9 EOD sweeps before all men's basketball games.

Although it may not be a new tool for some university police departments the program is a new commitment for additional safety at Butler University. "It's established best practice in law enforcement to be proactive with major events and it's also becoming more and more standard for universities to have their own EOD K9. " - Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police Benjamin Hunter.

Support for the K9 ProgramMarcus_Hinkle

The Butler University Police Department would like to thank additional donors to our K-9 program to significantly off-set the cost: