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K-9

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K-9 Trials

K-9 Unit History

The Gilbert Police Department K-9 Unit was started in 1993 with a grant from the Criminal Justice Enhancement Fund (CJEF). The goal of the program at the time was to reduce Gilbert's escalating trend of street crimes and drug use. CJEF funds were accepted to purchase a narcotic detection / patrol K-9. The first canine member of the Gilbert Police Department was a German Shepherd named Cosmo.

Since its inception in 1993, thirteen different canines have served the Gilbert Police Department: Cosmo (German Shepherd: 1993-1999), Kimbo (Belgian Malinois: 1998-2004), Otto (Belgian Malinois - 1999-2005), Barca (Belgian Malinois 2003-2011), Seiko (Belgian Malinois: 2004-2009), Mike (Belgian Malinois 2005-2013), Chucky (Dutch Shepherd: 2008-2014), Zorro (Dutch Shepherd: 2009-2014), Murphy (Dutch Shepherd: 2013-2018), Lance (Dutch Shepherd, 2014-2016), Bono (Dutch Shepherd, 2014-2020), Santos (Dutch Shepherd 2018-present), King (Belgian Malinois 2019-present) and Matti (Belgian Malinois 2020-present).K-9 Trials

Today's K-9 Unit

The Gilbert Police Department K-9 unit of today is still focused on the goals that started the program - to combat street crimes and drug use. The Department now has three K-9 teams and 7-day-a-week, nighttime coverage. Officers Greg Thomas, Chad Wright and Steve Gilbert each handle a canine trained in detection and numerous patrol functions. The dogs help make our officers safer and more efficient in their jobs. The canines live at home with their handlers and go to work in specially outfitted patrol cars assigned to their human partners. While the dogs do all their work for free, the Department pays their food bill and makes sure they get the best healthcare!


Officer C. Wright and K-9 Bink

Officer Chad Wright and K-9 Santos

K-9 Santos is a Dutch Shepherd imported from Holland. Santos started his career at the Gilbert Police Department in February 2018. Santos was raised and trained in the Dutch dog sport called KNPV, which is roughly translated as Royal Dutch Police Dog Association. The KNPV is regarded world-wide as the most rigorous dog sport and law enforcement and military agencies throughout the globe compete to buy dogs successful in the sport. The dogs are scored on a series of police dog related tests, which include obedience, agility, evidence location, article guard, and suspect apprehension. Santos underwent six weeks of training at the Gilbert Police Department where he learned narcotics detection and other skills unique to the rigors of police work. Like his canine co-workers, Santos undergoes weekly in-service training and certifies annually under national standards judged by an independent official.

Read More in The Phoenix Dog Magazine's 2017 November/December Feature:

The Phoenix Dog Magazine


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Officer Steve Gilbert and K-9 King

K-9 King is a Belgian Malinois imported from Croatia by way of Eastern Holland in January 2019. During his first year and a half, King distinguished himself in a Dutch dog sport called KNPV, which is roughly translated as Royal Dutch Police Dog Association. In these competitions the dogs are run through a series of police dog related tests, which include obedience, agility and suspect apprehension. King underwent six weeks of training at the Gilbert Police Department where he was trained in narcotics detection and brushed up on his patrol dog skills. Like his canine co-workers, King undergoes weekly in-service training and certifies annually under national standards judged by an independent official. King enjoys sunbathing, long bike rides and swimming in the pool.

 


Officer Sara Dunn and K-9 Matti

K-9 Matti is a Belgian Malinois imported from Holland in January 2020.  Matti was born August of 2016.  During his first three-and-a-half years Matti was trained and excelled in the Dutch dog sport called KNPV, which loosely translates into Royal Dutch Police Dog Association.  The KNPV is regarded world-wide as the most rigorous dog sport and law enforcement and military agencies throughout the globe compete to buy dogs successful in the sport.  After years of intense training in KNPV Matti was scored on a number of police dog related tasks related to obedience, agility, evidence searching, and suspect apprehension.  After earning the KNPV title of PH1 (Police Dog 1) Matti was imported to California where he was ultimately paired with his new human partner, Officer Dunn.  Matti then moved to Gilbert, Arizona where he underwent an additional six weeks of training.  During this time Matti was trained in narcotics detection and learned more skills specific to the unique tasks of a police K-9.  Like his canine co-workers, Matti undergoes weekly in-service training and certifies annually under national standards judged by an independent official.  On his days off, Matti loves going for runs with Officer Dunn and playing fetch in the backyard.