It's no wonder dogs are so important to law enforcement: they can smell, hear, and often see much better than we can.
But someone has to train them to put those skills to use, and that's where Meyer’s Police K-9 Training in Chico comes in.
“In law enforcement, it's one of the best things to have a dog on the street. They have that special nose that they can smell things and locate people, so it makes officer safety huge,” said Meyer’s Police K-9 Training Owner Brad Meyer, who is also a Sergeant with the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.
Right now, he's in the middle of a basic K-9 training course. It's a 5 week class, and teams from Crescent City Police, Lassen County Sheriff's Office, Siskiyou County Probation, and Chico Police Department are creating new bonds with their furry friends.
“We're teaching new dogs that aren't on the street yet how to smell narcotics and do the patrol functions, the apprehension work, and looking for suspects,” he said.
He says dogs are a huge asset because they can do things we can't. They can see, smell, and find people, narcotics, and explosives.
“It’s safety, it makes us safer. So when somebody’s hiding from us in the bushes or we have a violent felon who's run away that's hiding that won't give up, we can send a dog to locate that person to tell us where he's at, and sometimes an apprehension is needed.”
And sometimes it's not. Sometimes, just the bark is enough to scare people into giving up.
“It happens a lot. A lot of times people they hear the dog, and they don't want to mess with the dog, so they just come out and give up and everyone goes home safe.”
Monday was apprehension training, and it's easy to understand why you wouldn't want to take your chances if you didn't have this suit on.
“They save lives. I don't want to see a dog get hurt, but I also don't want to see an officer get hurt. So if we can send a dog to locate somebody, tell us where that person is hiding at, get the dog back out, and then maybe we can deal with that situation differently.”
Meyer has been in business for about 3 years, and he trains these dogs for law enforcement and military personnel.