K-9 Police Force’s Favorite Toy Is Clemco 4-Ply Blast Hose
Clemco donates 50 ft of hose to an Ohio K-9 police department.
The hose is the only “toy” that can withstand the dogs’ bites.
“What Noras loves just about more than anything,” Police Officer Josh Jackson says of his partner, “is chewing on Clemco blast hose. I could throw down a T-bone steak and a section of blast hose—and Noras would take the hose every time.”
Officers Noras and Jackson serve in Ohio’s St. Clair Township Police Department. Noras is four-years-old, has been on the force three years … and is a German shepherd. He is trained in narcotics detection, article searches, and suspect tracking and apprehension. Officer Jackson—who not only is Noras’ partner and handler, but best friend—has been a police officer for six years in St. Clair Township. The rural township is located between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
His Bite Is Worse Than His Bark
Noras (who is named after the actor Chuck Norris) began his relationship with Clemco blast hose as a pup. “During training, the dogs are given blast hose as a toy,” Officer Jackson explains. “The hose is used as a reward. When the dogs are being trained to sniff out drugs, they don’t realize they are searching for drugs—they think they are searching for blast hose. It’s a game for them.”
To put this in perspective, the 4-Ply Hose that Noras loves is Clemco’s most durable blast hose. Its outer casing consists of four-layers of cloth and rubber-impregnated fiber winding. Because of its strength, 4-Ply Hose is widely used in shipyards, railyards, and other sites where hose receives particularly rough treatment. The hose can even withstand occasional light vehicle traffic without collapsing. However, even Clemco 4-Ply Blast Hose cannot completely withstand Noras’ bite.
“Almost nothing can stand up to the bite force Noras applies,” Officer Jackson says, “except Clemco Blast Hose. That’s why he loves it. Although I have to admit, I’ve seen him destroy a 1-foot section of hose in less than 3 minutes.”
Clemco Donates Hose to Noras and Friends
In February, Clemco donated its second 50-foot batch of 4-Ply Hose to the St. Clair Township Police Department for use by Noras and the department’s other K-9 officer, Axel. But Noras and Axel are generous team members.
“We often train with the other K-9 departments in Columbiana County, which is where St. Clair Township is located,” Officer Jackson says. “When I tell the other dog handlers that I have hose, they want some. The county has a total of nine dogs, and they all go crazy for the hose.”
Officer Jackson explains that Columbiana County’s K-9 departments all operate as 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Every department is responsible for its dog handlers’ salaries, benefits, office space, vehicle maintenance and expenses, etc., but most all of the K-9 departments’ other expenses are funded by private donations of supplies and money.
“Total startup costs for each dog is about $60,000, all covered by donations,” Officer Jackson says. “The animals’ food, medical care, certain training and equipment, purchasing the vehicles, purchasing the dogs from reputable kennels … just about everything else is paid for by the nonprofits. Outside of major cities, the majority of K-9 departments operate this way.”
One of the World’s Largest Heroin Trafficking Corridors
Officer Jackson points out that St. Clair Township’s location of about a 2-hour drive southeast of Cleveland and a 45-minute drive northwest of Pittsburgh places it squarely in “one of the world’s largest heroin trafficking corridors.”
Officer Jackson estimates that since he joined the St. Clair Township Police Department six years ago, Noras and his Columbiana County K-9 colleagues have recovered $1 million in drug money from traffickers and captured millions more dollars’ worth of heroin and other narcotics.
“Since the steel, pottery, and other industries left this part of the country,” Officer Jackson explains, “heroin has taken over. And K-9 units are a great asset for fighting back.”
On a typical day, Noras and Officer Jackson perform traffic stops, which is when Noras sniffs down vehicles. But Officer Jackson recalls one atypical day about six months ago: “I stopped a vehicle for a routine traffic violation. After I asked the driver for his ID, I recognized him as a known narcotics dealer. At that point, I informed the driver that I was going to my vehicle to get Noras for an open-air sniff of his car. After I walked to my vehicle to get Noras—the dealer drove off.”
Officer Jackson pursued the suspect for approximately four miles, at which point the suspect stopped his car, jumped out, and ran into a heavily wooded area. That’s when Officer Jackson deployed Noras.
Officer Jackson describes the suspect as a little shorter than 6 ft, about 160 lbs, a runner’s body type, in his mid-twenties—and that he was known to carry a handgun.
“Noras chased the dealer for about 500 yards into the woods,” Officer Jackson recalls, “which is when Noras caught up with him, bit and secured him, until I arrived and apprehended the suspect with his narcotics.”
Family’s Loyal Friend
After a hard day’s work, Officer Jackson and Noras go home together. Jackson has been married 16 years to his high school sweetheart Ashley. They share a home with their 10-year-old daughter Olivia, their almost two-year-old daughter Ave, and Noras.
Jackson was born and raised in St. Clair Township, but after he graduated from high school he got just about as far away from St. Clair as possible by enlisting in the U.S. Army.
Jackson served as a military police officer (MP) from 2004 to 2012, including a 15-month deployment from 2007 to 2009 in the Baghdad area.
After leaving the Army, Jackson worked more than three years in embassy and diplomatic security with a private-security firm. In 2015, he returned to St. Clair Township and began serving in the St. Clair Township Police Department.
“Noras and I are on call 24-7,” Jackson says. “But we wouldn’t have it any other way. I started out as a road patrolman for three years, but I let my chief know that for my whole life I wanted to work with police K-9s. Now Noras is not only my partner, but part of my family. I’m grateful for how everything worked out.”
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