Ofc. Sholtis has been a police officer with Glendale Police Department after graduating from the Rio Hondo police academy in 2000. During his tenure, he has been a field training officer (FTO) and an operator on the department’s SWAT team. As an FTO, Ofc. Sholtis trained several new officers who had completed their academy training but needed "real life" exposure as a street cop. Part of his responsibilities as an FTO was to teach new officers city geography, tactics, report writing, court testimony, and the department’s policy and procedure. As a SWAT team member, Ofc. Sholtis enjoyed the excitement of specialized training for situations such as active shooters, barricaded suspects, and hostage rescue. He also received extensive firearms and tactics training and participated in the service of high-risk warrants.
Officer Sholtis was accepted to the position of K9 handler in September of 2005, when he was assigned to his first K-9 partner, "Sam." In August 2011, Sam retired after six years on the job. In September 2012, Ofc. Sholtis was assigned to his new K-9 partner, "Idol." Idol aus dem Hahnsdorf is a German Shepherd and was born in March of 2011 in Serbia. He was flown to the United States in June of 2012 after being selected for police work.
Officer Sholtis and Idol completed a 5-week basic K-9 patrol school in Ventura, CA and graduated on October 19th, 2012. Idol is trained to search for hidden suspects in buildings and open areas. He is also trained to track suspects and missing persons, similar to what a bloodhound does. In addition to searching for people, Idol is trained to search for and alert on evidence that has been discarded by fleeing suspects. In September of 2013, Officer Sholtis and Idol will undergo an additional four weeks of training to learn explosive detection. Officer Sholtis and Idol will be the Department’s explosive detection team and will be utilized for bomb threats and protective sweeps for visiting dignitaries.
IDOL LOCATES HEROIN
Glendale police officers were involved in a high-speed vehicle pursuit through Glendale, which terminated near Harvey Drive and the 134 Freeway. The suspects exited the vehicle and fled from officers, but were quickly apprehended. K-9 Idol was used to retrace the steps of the suspects as they ran from the police, looking for any evidence that was discarded during the foot pursuit. Amidst all the accumulated litter along the roadway, Idol keyed in on one crushed soda can. To any officer, this can would look like any other discarded can. However Idol detected the scent of fresh human odor on this single piece of trash. Idol alerted his handler, Officer Sholtis, to the item. Upon further inspection, the can contained a small amount of heroin. Often times, heroin users will use the bottom of a soda can to heat the drug, which is then injected into their system. Thanks to Idol’s incredible sense of smell and ability to search for discarded evidence, the suspect was charged with an additional felony and discarded drugs were safely taken off the street.
IDOL LOCATES BULLETS IN TRUNK
A Glendale police officer contacted two people, one of whom was in possession of ammunition. Although suspicious, it was not illegal for this person to possess the ammunition. However, there was a vehicle associated with the subjects in the immediate area. Concerned that the subjects may be in possession of a concealed firearm in the car, officers were given consent to search the vehicle for a gun. K-9 Idol, who is cross-trained to detect explosives and firearms, was used to search the vehicle. Although the vehicle was completely filled with clutter, Idol alerted to the trunk area. Officers hand-searched the corner of the trunk where Idol alerted and recovered two small .22 caliber bullets underneath the spare tire. The significance of this find was that the vehicle belonged to the other subject stopped, who was a convicted felon. Thanks to Idol’s keen sense of smell, officers were able to locate the bullets and arrest the convicted felon for being in possession of ammunition. Without Idol, it would have been nearly impossible to locate the small caliber bullets in such a cluttered vehicle.
IDOL APPREHENDS PURSUIT SUSPECT
Officers were involved in a high-speed chase during the early morning hours. The suspect, wanted for felony evading, endangered the lives of many people because of the reckless nature of his driving while trying to escape from the police. The suspect ultimately ran from the vehicle in the area of Lexington and Adams and hid in the neighborhood. It was critical that the male be found, since he now posed a serious risk to the safety of the residents in the neighborhood. K-9 Idol and K-9 Branko responded to the scene and used their sense of smell to search for the suspect. While systematically searching the neighborhood, K-9 Idol smelled the suspect on the other side of a fence. The suspect abandoned his hiding spot in someone’s backyard and hopped several fences to try to get away from pursuing officers. K-9 Idol paralleled the path of the suspect and was able to cut him off. The suspect attempted to hide behind a garage, but K-9 Idol located him and assisted officers with taking him into custody.