Hotel security going to the dogs

Jan 8, 2002 7:10 AM

The Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower has added a highly-trained K-9 unit comprised of a security officer and German Shepherd to its security force, announced Stratosphere officials.

The new Stratosphere K-9 unit consists of Officer Dex, a two year-old pure bred German Shepherd, and Officer Steve Leiberman, a Stratosphere security officer trained in K-9 tactics.

Officer Dex was born and raised in Germany. He has been trained since birth in the rigorous Schutzhund obedience technique. Upon his arrival in the United States, Officer Dex and Officer Leiberman were enrolled in Rudy Drexler’s School For Dogs in Elkhart, Indiana.

Rudy Drexler’s School For Dogs has trained hundreds of law enforcement dogs and special scenting dogs for law enforcement, industrial security and the private sector.

“We are constantly striving to make the Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower one of the safest destination properties in the world. We have enhanced our security measures by diligently finding a dog that has been bred and trained with the necessary temperament and skills to work at a gaming resort property,” said Art Steele, vice president of security for the Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower. “Officer Dex represents a valuable new asset to security in the gaming, tour and travel industry and will broaden the range of Stratosphere Tower security measures already in place.”

Besides building search and explosives detection, Officer Dex is extensively trained in obedience, handler protection, tracking, scouting, article search, and area search. Officer Dex and Officer Leiberman will be made available to assist local and federal law enforcement agencies as well as other gaming resort properties.

“Officer Dex is the only dog of its kind at a gaming resort property in Las Vegas as well as a valuable community resource,” Steele added.

While on duty at the Stratosphere, Officer Dex and Officer Leiberman patrol the property and interact with guests. Officer Dex is customer friendly and can be petted or photographed by guests and employees. The customer relation component has proved successful enough that the Stratosphere is planning a K-9 education and outreach program designed for area schools and hospitals.