K-9 News and Dog Trials
April 2007 Desert Dog Trials - Scottsdale, AZ
Officers Greg Thomas, Todd Johnson, and Ben Lavis and their K-9 partners competed in the Desert Dog K-9 Trials in Scottsdale, Arizona April 13-15, 2007. The trial drew 59 competitors from police departments, sheriff’s offices, and correctional departments. The event afforded Gilbert K-9 officers the opportunity to compete against, and learn from, canine teams working throughout the country. The Gilbert K-9 Unit returned to defend the Top Dog award won last year by Ofc. Lavis. Ofc. Thomas and his partner Mike stepped up to the task and won the Top Dog award. Ofc. Thomas and Mike attained the highest cumulative scores in Detection (drug), Tactical Obedience, Tactical Agility/Obstacles, Area Search, Building Search and Handler Protection. Ofc. Lavis received fifth place in the Top Dog scoring.
Ofc. Thomas and Mike won several different awards throughout the trials to include 1st Place Handler Protection, 2nd Place Area Search, 3rd Place Bldg Search, 2nd Place Tactical Obedience, 4th Place Tactical Challenge Course. Ofc. Johnson and Seiko took second place in the Handler Protection event. Ofc. Lavis and Barca earned a 2nd place finish in the Explosives Detection competition as well as a sixth place finish in Tactical Obedience.
The Gilbert Police Department K-9 Unit (total scores of Mike, Seiko, and Barca) finished the weekend competition with a 1st place overall agency trophy in patrol division. All three dogs and their handlers accumulated more points (minus detection) than any other agency in the trials in the patrol events. In addition to the other awards, both Seiko and Mike were top ten finalists for the Tough Dog trophy.
Officers Ben Lavis, Greg Thomas, and Todd Johnson and their K-9 partners competed in the Desert Dog K-9 Trials in Mesa, Arizona April 7-9, 2006. The trial drew 52 competitors from police departments, sheriff’s offices, and military installations. The event afforded Gilbert K-9 officers the opportunity to compete against, and learn from, canine teams working throughout the country. Officer Lavis and K-9 Barca topped the competition with a first place finish earning the "Top Dog" trophy. Barca attained the highest cumulative scores in detection (bomb), obedience, agility/obstacles, area search, building search and handler protection. Barca also earned a 1st place finish in the explosives detection competition. Officer Thomas and K-9 Mike won a 3rd place trophy in "Tactical Obedience," an event testing Mike’s obedience under gunfire, taunting from a role-playing suspect, and other real life distractions. Barca placed 5th in the same event. The Gilbert Police Department K-9 Unit (total scores of Barca, Mike and Seiko) finished the weekend competition with a 4th place overall agency trophy, only finishing behind North Las Vegas PD (NV), Scottsdale PD (AZ), and West Covina PD (CA). In addition to the other awards, both Seiko and Barca were top ten finalists for the Tough Dog trophy.
November 2005 Dog Trials - Tucson, AZ
Officers Ben Lavis and Greg Thomas and their K-9 partners Barca (aka Lobo) and Mike competed in the seventeenth annual Tucson Area K-9 Trials in Tucson, Arizona November 11-13, 2005. The trial drew 65 competitors from police departments, sheriff’s offices, military installations, and federal law enforcement agencies. The event afforded Gilbert K-9 officers the opportunity to compete against, and learn from, canine teams working throughout the country. Officer Thomas and K-9 Mike won a 3rd place trophy in “Tactical Obedience,” an event testing Mike’s obedience under gunfire, taunting from a role-playing suspect, and other real life distractions.
April 2005 Dog Trials - Scottsdale, AZ
On the weekend of April 16, 2005, Officer Todd Johnson and K-9 Seiko and Officer Ben Lavis and K-9 Barca competed in the 3rd annual Desert Dog Regional K-9 Trials at Scottsdale Stadium. The competition was attended by 54 K-9 teams from police departments and military installations around the southwest US. Todd and Seiko garnered 1st place in the building search event. Seiko was also awarded the coveted "tough dog" trophy for his persistence in overpowering the role-playing suspects. Ben and Barca placed 4th in explosives detection, 5th place in handler protection - phase 1, and 4th place in handler protection - phase 2. Ben and Todd's combined scores throughout the weekend event earned a 4th place overall agency for Gilbert PD. Additionally, their combined narcotics detection/bomb detection scores earned Gilbert PD a 5th place overall agency trophy.
April 2003 Dog Trials - Scottsdale, AZ
Officers Todd Johnson and Greg Thomas and their K-9 Partners Kimbo and Otto competed in the first annual Desert Dog K-9 Trials in Scottsdale, Arizona April 11-13, 2003. Both officers attended an informative seminar conducted by Officer Dick Van Leenen of the Rotterdam, Holland K-9 Unit. The event also afforded K-9 officers the opportunity to compete against forty-five K-9/handler teams from Arizona, California and Nevada. Kimbo won a third place trophy in tactical agility, a fourth place trophy in area search and a fifth place trophy in handler protection.
Summer 2002 Training Runs - Training for Gilbert's K9 Unit is carried out often to ensure a ready team at a moments notice.
2001 K-9 Deployments
K-9 Otto and K-9 Kimbo were deployed on 424 occasions during 2001. Narcotic searches accounted for 113 of those uses. The remaining 311 utilizations were comprised of area searches, building searches, high-risk stops, public demonstrations, missing person searches, and K-9 deterrence during volatile situations. K-9 deployments resulted in or assisted in the arrest of 84 suspects. Otto and Kimbo were summoned to assist outside law enforcement agencies on 12 different occasions.
2001 Fourth of July K9 Demonstration
The Gilbert Police K-9 Unit presented its 2nd annual canine demonstration during the Fourth of July fireworks at Williams Gateway Airport. Otto and Kimbo teamed up with tail-waggers from the Mesa Police Department K-9 unit to complete the exhibition. The event was attended by thousands and gave Gilbert citizens a chance to see jaws on paws enforcin' the laws. The demonstration included a mock pursuit with K-9 deployment, apprehension of a fleeing bank robber, a narcotics search and a two-suspect take down by Kimbo. Hundreds of K-9 trading cards were distributed and kids were given the chance to see the dogs up close.
2001 National Police K-9 Certifications
Officer Johnson and K-9 Kimbo put the "finishing touches" on their Patrol K-9 Certification from the National Police Canine Association (picture at left). The certifications were held in Phoenix on January 25, 2001. In order to achieve this mark of distinction, the K-9 team must demonstrate proficiency in building searches, area searches, obedience, and suspect apprehensions. The picture shows K-9 Kimbo releasing his grip on the suspect when commanded by Officer Johnson. Both K-9 Kimbo and K-9 Otto also attained certification in narcotics detection. This certification requires the K-9 team to find a variety of drug odors in different environments within designated time constraints.
K-9 Team demonstrates skills in recent Safety Fair!
On Saturday, November 25, 2000, Officer Greg Thomas and K-9 Otto represented the Gilbert Police Department K-9 Unit at a kick-off "Safety Fair" for W. Steven Martin's toy drive. The Safety Fair was held at Fiesta Mall and presented by valley law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and local news media. Thousands of attendees were treated to static displays and frequent demonstrations including: SWAT teams, Motors, Air support, Mounted patrols, and - of course - K-9 units. The K-9 unit demonstrations were a cooperative effort by officers from the Mesa Police Department, Tempe Police Department, and Gilbert Police Department. K-9 Otto performed the grand finale by making a crowd pleasing car-top apprehension!
Click on the images below to see full size.
Las Vegas K-9 Trials
Officer Greg Thomas and K-9 Otto competed in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department K-9 Trials October 20-22, 2000 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The trials give K-9 officers opportunity to learn new skills, evaluate training techniques and practice deployment methods in friendly competition with other teams. Otto earned two trophies in the competition; a 3rd place trophy in the Building Search event and a 3rd place trophy in the Area Search event. Forty-three K-9 teams from California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada competed.