K-9 Training in Our Backyard

K-9 Training in Our Backyard »Play Video
BENTON COUNTY-- About one hundred canine officers were at Hanford's HAMMER site today to sniff, attack, and chase down bad guys.

The training is important to law enforcement agencies from all over the state. What they learn here over a three day period keeps them fine-tuned for work.

Trainers say the dogs need to experience the nerves and adrenaline of a fake scenario to be prepared for real danger.

Deputy Horacio Gonzalez says his K-9 Jago was crucial in a recent case.

"The most heroic or cool thing we've done is we caught a murder suspect," said Gonzalez.

He adds that the Benton County Sheriff’s Office was the first to bring K-9’s to the Tri-Cities area and that years ago, the agency used to have four police dogs. Now it just has Jago.

This is the first time this training has been held in the Tri-Cities in a decade. That made it easier for law enforcement officers and their K-9’s to attend from Yakima, Pasco, and Kennewick. Richland police were not there, but organizers say they don’t have a K-9.

For Pasco Police Officer Bob Harris and his police dog Falko, having the training in Benton County was welcome relief. That means no hotel or travel costs and Pasco P.D. got to bring both of its K-9’s

"This year of all years it's really well worth it to us cause there's really no cost to us other that sending us out here for 8 hours a day to train," said Harris

Hanford police say having the training in their backyard meant all their police dogs could participate. Patrick Krzan with the department says the K-9’s are critical at Hanford. They sniff out every piece of mail and freight going into Hanford for potential bombs.

"We do have national security interests here at Hanford and it's important for those interests to be secure at all times," said Krzan.

The dog exercises at the training included bomb sniffing practice, jumping into the water and swimming to catch a “bad guy”, and heading up stairs and into a dark attack in search of a suspect.