LOS ANGELES (CBS) — These police officers don’t eat donuts — they work for kibble.
An elite squad of officers who — literally — sink their teeth into their work.
Mike Dinow, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, was given an exclusive tour of the Sheriff’s K-9 Apprehension Team.
Dinow got suited up in special padding to see, and feel, firsthand how the K-9 officers take their suspects into custody. “We also equipped the suit with a small camera to really capture the suspect’s experience.”
He followed along as the dogs were put through their special training. There are many training exercises before a dog can join the unit.
And even after they are selected, their are still daily exercises to keep them sharp.
Dinow says the dogs are prepared for any situation.
The Special Weapons team, for example, will work active crime scenes. Often with a suspect barricaded or perhaps on the run.
Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Grant works with the K-9 unit of the Special Enforcement Bureau. “These dogs will go out 150 yards and locate a suspect where we don’t have to engage them in a gunfight. We have other options we can use to apprehend and locate the suspect.”
The unit has 12 K-9 officers. Says Sgt. Romeo Ingreso, “All 12 are trained to locate items of evidence and locate suspects who are hiding from law enforcement.”
As Dinow is “attacked,” he remarks “Oh boy!” and not in the good, fun way.
The K-9 division (comprised of Dutch and German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois) is raised by civilians in Europe. When the dogs reach a mental maturity, they are purchased and brought to the states.
The K-9 unit is deployed, on average 2-3 times a day and 6-700 times a year.