Trained dog squad to be in inducted in Tacoma police force to check rising crimes
In special news coverage, the Tacoma Police Department has confirmed that they would be inducting highly trained dogs for special task force operation in their K-9 unit. These dogs primarily belong to the breed of German Shepherd and have been trained over the years.
These two highly trained search dogs are expected to join the department this year, and the Kennel Club of Tacoma has voluntarily donated around $4 K for ballistic vests to be used as a protective measure for the pups.
Sgt. Chris Martin, who has been heading the K-9 unit for almost 11 years, said the department is highly obliged to receive this donation and have been extremely generous.
The specialty of these highly trained dogs is that one of them, Ruby is expert in drug-sniffing while Zeus is specialized in search operations. Zeus is a 3-year old Belgian Malinois who gets trained almost every night and works for four days a week. The duo engages into a rigorous training program almost every day where they run through agility course specially designed for them, set up at the headquarters. Zeus jumps over chain-link fences, through tire swings and runs through drainage pipes along with balancing across plywood bridges. They also practice various biting techniques. The earlier K-9-member, Duke who also happened to be a German Shepherd retired last month as he developed lack of vision and was going blind. He was almost 6 years old and have served the department for quite some time. With this, the department got the approval to onboard new dogs and expecting to get the third by mid of this year.
The other one is Ruby, the drug-sniffing dog, which is associated with the Special Investigations Unit. The department spends almost $10K for a police force dog, and once they are trained, these dogs are valued around $50K.
Currently, the team is more focussed on looking for a dedicated and driven one rather than focussing on the breed. Several and different kinds of breeds ranging from mixed breed Labrador, retrievers to Belgian Malinois have been in operations over the years.
In the earlier special task operations for 2018, Tacoma’s two K-9s special task dogs conducted operations like searching buildings which were 40 plus in numbers, tracked 50 plus suspects and were responsible for the arrest of 100 plus people. They also completed 500 plus official training exercises.
The K-9s are exposed to as many dangers as the officers in charge when it comes to tracking dangerous and violent suspects. In last year alone, nineteen special task police dogs were killed in the line of duty. With all these death safety measures have been stepped up with an introduction of ballistic vests. Each vest is measured properly with the body dimension and costs about $2,500. The dogs do not wear the protective vests all the time due to the risk of overheating. Only during special operations, they are equipped with the special vest. Most of the time, the dogs usually get killed due to gunfire. Others are stabbing or thrown from building and bridges. A couple of years back, in the region of Tacoma, a black Labrador died of ingesting methamphetamine. It was on a special operation of searching suspected drug traffickers. Earlier in the 80s, Tacoma police force had five K-9s. But a sudden cost cutting leads to the downsizing of the team.