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Looking for new mates
Lindsay K-9 unit wants to add three more dogs.
Eight-year-old police dog Riley of the Lindsay Public Safety Department (LPSD) Canine Unit is headed for retirement in the next six months. Once that happens, the department will not have any K-9 members.
That is the motivation behind a planned canine benefit dinner on October 13 at the Lindsay Wellness Center. Proceeds will benefit the canine unit which was founded in 2004.
“[Our goal is to] put four dogs on [the] street. [We] run four shifts, [so that’s] one dog per shift. [They] are another tool that is a resource to us. [They] can help us do our job more effectively and efficiently,” said Lt. Bryan Clower of the LPSD who is responsible for the upkeep and training of the dogs. He estimates that the career life of a K-9 dog is five to nine years.
“It depends on the individual dog, the type of dog, health, and use,” added Clower, who estimated that the cost of a dog is $12,000-$13,000 including training.
Clower points out that they reduce the amount of injury to the public and to the human officers.
The dogs can either be German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois. As one of the latter, Riley has served with Officer Eddie Alcantar for the past three years working patrol. She is also narcotics certified though she doesn’t do much of the latter these days.
“She’s a very playful dog, [but] she knows when to work. She sees the uniform go on and it’s time to work,” said Alcantar.
Her duties include searching buildings and responding to alarm calls.
On occasion, they might be called out to help with requests from other departments.
“When officers feel like they [Sheriff’s department or Exeter police] need a dog to checkresidences, I’ll respond,” stated Alcantar. “[Otherwise] we respond to calls like [a] regular officer.”
He has had two years of previous experience as a K-9 officer. According to Alcantar, his first dog Reno was also a Belgian Malinois.
“Reno was all about work,” added Alcantar.
When not on patrol he is constantly training with Riley whether it be hide and seek, bite sleeve training, obedience training or extra exercise.
“There is no specific school for [a] K-9 handler, [but] I was already a handler [and] went to training to get California Post Certification. If we have enough officers, [I’ll] have him put on a bite sleeve and have Riley look for him. [There are] times that I go out and hide something and she’ll search for it,” stated Alcantar.
During training both he and Riley learn the commands in Dutch. With Reno, it was French.
In the future, he hopes to become a canine sergeant.
The Canine benefit dinner, with a casino theme, will have all kinds of games for the attendees. They include blackjack, poker, and dice. Tickets are still available. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Lt. Clower at 562-2511.