Allegiance Health Welcomes New K-9 Security Officers

“Dan and Austin make a great team. They both love people and are always ready to respond to a need. They are a calming presence in stressful or challenging circumstances."

Allegiance Health is pleased to welcome a new team of certified K-9 Security Officers—Dan Brown and his partner, Austin, a two-and-a-half year old German shepherd from Czechoslovakia.

“I go to work with my best friend every day,” said Brown. Austin lives with Brown during their off-hours and sleeps next to Brown’s bed so that the team is ready to respond to a security call.

In order to be certified as K-9 Security Officers, Austin and Brown participated in a three-month program at the K-9 Training Academy in Taylor, Michigan.

“It was intense. We trained ten hours a day, but it was awesome. We both loved it,” said Brown.

The K-9 Security team’s rounds are not confined to the hospital campus. Brown and Austin call on the more than forty Allegiance facilities throughout the region. They are especially welcome visitors on the Pediatrics unit at the hospital and also visit area schools to promote safety.

Allegiance Security Director Tom Fiero said, “Dan and Austin make a great team. They both love people and are always ready to respond to a need. They are a calming presence in stressful or challenging circumstances. I know we can count on them.”

Allegiance looks forward to a second new K-9 Security Team undergoing certification training in July—Corey Lorenzen and his partner, Hobbs, a three-year-old German shepherd.

“Our goal is to create a safe and secure healing environment for our patients,” said Fiero. “Our security dogs are not used to intimidate. They are only aggressive on command, which is rarely necessary. Austin acts as a deterrent to negative or inappropriate behavior in our health system’s facilities. These well-trained dogs help to de-escalate tension and actually reduce stress for our patients and staff before a real issue arises.”

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