Meet Hope

The residents of the city of Miramar have a lot to feel safer about thanks to an exceptional addition to the police force—a four-legged one.

“We are honored and proud to welcome Hope Ryce to Miramar,” says Police Chief Delrish Moss.

Hope is a forty-pound bloodhound that was donated to the Miramar Police Department by the Jimmy Ryce Center for Victims of Predatory Abduction. The four-month-old puppy was bred specifically for tracking by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, who are strong advocates for utilizing bloodhounds and works closely with the Jimmy Ryce Center.

Bloodhounds have a remarkable innate ability to follow scent and will be used to locate missing children and adults, to bring them home safely. They have 300 million smell receptors, a third more than German Shepherds. Scientists have found that bloodhounds can track a scent that is more than 300 hours old.

After a rigorous review process, the purebred puppy has been partnered with K-9 Officer Heidy Arias, a seven-year veteran of the force.

Officer Arias not only has a distinguished law enforcement career, but also earned the coveted Black Belt in Judo at the age of 17, and in 2003 qualified for the US Olympic Judo Team. After obtaining a degree in education, Officer Arias became a teacher and found great joy in teaching students with autism. Six years later, she joined the Miramar Police Department and spent several years protecting our youth as a school resource officer. Officer Arias also serves as one of the department’s defense tactics instructors. 

“This puppy is going to be a warrior and make us all very proud. Like her name, she will provide hope to families searching for their loved ones,” Arias says.  

Since its inception, the Jimmy Ryce Center has championed establishing a four-legged search and rescue network and given more than 700 bloodhounds to law enforcement agencies around the country. The center is named after 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce, who was abducted, raped, and murdered at the hands of a sexual predator in 1995. 

“We are thrilled that a new bloodhound is now in the Miramar Police Department. We know that Hope and Officer Arias are going to be a remarkable team,” said Terri Lynn, co-managing director of the Jimmy Ryce Center.

Out of an unspeakable tragedy, the Jimmy Ryce Center has given the Miramar community Hope.