First female K-9 handler in West Lafayette Police Department’s history

West Lafayette gets its first female K-9 handler. (WLFI)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Dogs are said to be a man’s best friend, but one West Lafayette police officer is proving that’s not all they are.

When it comes to her job, there’s nothing Officer Libby Romstadt can’t handle including her K-9.

“That’s a good boy, good boy!” said Romstadt with her furry new work partner.

She’s the first female police dog handler in the history of the West Lafayette Police Department, and Police Chief Jason Dombkowski said she won’t be the last.

“Our female officers not only do just as good of a job, sometimes they do a better job in some areas,” said Dombkowski.

In Romstadt’s case, she was the best for the job. Her K-9, Barry, belonged to another WLPD officer who was recently promoted.

“We’ve only really known each other, well, since Saturday,” said Romstadt.

Soon, the two will head to Peru, Indiana, for a six-week training so the K-9 duo can properly assist the community with services like searching for drugs, missing people and runaway criminals.

“This is a reaffirmation for us to our K-9 program and for our citizens and for our officers, it’s needed and it’s valued,” said Dombkowski.

Romstadt added, “It’s comfort knowing that with a push of a button, he can be out … right by my side … protecting me or other officers or other citizens,” said Romstadt.

She said at times she feels female officers don’t get treated the same way in public.

“You know to me, that just pushes me to work harder and make it known that hey, females are just as capable as males are,” said Romstadt. “You can do whatever you set your mind to and this is what I always wanted to do. And so you know, it’s happening so it just goes to show that hard work does pay off.”