Sun, Nov. 17

Cottonwood K9s on Duty

Cottonwood Police showed off their two K9 partners Friday. The two animals have been with the department for six months. Buster and Dakota recently returned from a four-week intensive training course with handlers Kevin Murie and Brian Campbell with training was conducted throughout the state. Dakota is a dual-purpose patrol and drug-detection dog. Buster does drug-detection. Officer Brian Campbell says that not all dogs retain the "prey drive" needed for a patrol or "bite" dog. Training capitalizes on an animal's "play drive" to find drugs on a suspect or suspect vehicle. The animals are part of the Cottonwood Police Department, but donations of food from Olsen's Grain and grants help keep the program active. Harlan Peterson donated $5000 to the department's K9 program, which helped to purchase and train Dakota. The department now uses specially fitted Chevy Tahoe SUVs for its K9 officers. The vehicles are fitted with divided section for the animal as well as a smaller seat for a prisoner. The vehicle has a water dispenser for the dog and is fitted with a temperature control which turns on a fan when the temperature reaches a set level, then sounds an alarm when temperatures get to a higher level. VVN/Jon Hutchinson

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