The Southlake Police Department hosted a 4-day K9 training course at our state-of-the-art DPS North Training facility this week. Officers from eight north Texas cities attended and included one officer from Germany. The course focused on training officers to become “Decoys” for the K9 handlers and their K9 partners.
The officers received hands-on training with one of the best instructors in the United States, Franco Angelini from K9 Bite Dr. Angelini, a former military officer and K9 handler with the U.S. Army, has also trained officers and their K9 partners internationally from England to Australia.
During the 4-day training, each Officer received hands-on instructions on how to properly decoy for the K9 teams so that they are better prepared to react in real-life situations when subduing aggressive and/or violent suspects. The decoys were outfitted in canine bite suits and arm sleeves to experience the strength of the K9’s and how the animal responds to verbal cues. These K9s are a special breed of animal. They are docile when at home with their handler and his family but when it’s time to go to work, their K9 demeanor shifts and they know it’s “go time.”
Southlake K9 Officer Nate Anderson, and his partner Duco, have worked very well together over the past year and a half. The pair have found drugs during numerous traffic stops and assisted in tracking down suspects who have fled officers. Anderson says, “We train for those high stress situations. We want our K9 partners to be as prepared to face dangerous situations as we are. They are also invaluable in helping to get illegal drugs off the streets.” Anderson adds, “The goal is to prepare the K9 for police work and to help build their confidence so they are comfortable in real-life situations.” The K9s are also utilized to assist with locating lost elderly persons or children.
Officers who attended the K9 decoy training included officers from: Carrollton, River Oaks, Mansfield, Watauga, Grand Prairie, three K9 military officers from Oklahoma, and an officer from the British Army. Each officer left with the skills and knowledge necessary to properly decoy for their agency’s K9 Unit(s).
It’s easy to see how K9 Officers and their K9 partners share a special bond that is built on trust and a healthy respect for each other’s capabilities. K9 Officer Nate Anderson and his partner Duco work hard, but they also make time for special community events like National Night Out, coming up on October 1, and visiting area schools. Kids love seeing Duco and Officer Anderson and learning about the work that they do.
To see more pictures and videos of this weeks K9 training, please visit our DPS Facebook page @SouthlakePublicSafety.