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Letter: Taking a bite out of crime

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Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014 12:00 am

Perhaps one of the best tools for fighting crime comes with four legs. Of course, I am speaking of a K-9 (often called a police dog ).

Many of the dogs used in police work come from Germany, both German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois are the breed of choice. Although, Labradors are used at airports and traffic stops to use their uncanny ability to sniff out drugs. Their ability to sniff out drugs is 1,000 times stronger than humans’.

When K-9’s are given the command to “take down” a person, they will without hesitation. They have a bite equal to 500 pounds of pressure. The training is very strenuous and not all make the cut. The cost to purchase can range from $5,000 and up, not including training.

When police respond to a situation, they are not aware of what awaits them. While law enforcement have many tools at their disposal, it might take a split second to decide on what to use. When a round leaves the weapon, similar to a taser or even pepper spray, it cannot be called back. Therein lies the beauty of a K-9. On any given command, the dog can be called off if needed. Even a baton will cause significant damage. The last thing a person running from the police would hear is, “Stop or I will send the dog.”

A K-9 will leave a lasting impression on the legs or arms since that is where the dog is taught to attack. The dog lives with his handler, who many times is married with children. The dog is gentle like any other at home and off duty.

A K-9 with law enforcement has a relatively short working career — jumping in and out of cars causes wear and tear to the hips. There is nothing like a K-9 who would give up his own life to protect his best friend. At times when they retire, they can be given to a good home to live out the rest of their days, and allowed to keep their shield.

Ed Walters

Lodi

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