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, eight 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-present), Lance (Dutch Shepherd, 2014-2016), and Bono (Dutch Shepard, 2014-present).
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 G. Thomas and S. 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 S. Gilbert and K-9 Murphy
K-9 Murphy is a Dutch Shepard imported from easter Holland in February 2013. Murphy celebrated his second birthday in April of 2013 with the Gilbert Police Department. During his first year and a half, Murphy 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. Murphy 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.
Officer G. Thomas and K-9 BonoK-9 Bono is a Dutch Shepherd imported from eastern Holland in July 2014. Bono - who is a full brother of both Murphy and Lance - was born in April 2011. During his youth, Bono distinguished himself in a Dutch dog sport called KNPV, which is roughly translated as the 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, select dogs are scored on a series of police dog related tests, which include obedience, agility, evidence location, article guard, and suspect apprehension. After successfully earning the KNPV title of PH1 (police dog 1) in Holland, Bono moved to Arizona and underwent six weeks of training at the Gilbert Police Department where he was trained in narcotics detection and taught other skills unique to the rigors of police work. Like his canine co-workers, Bono undergoes weekly in-service training and certifies annually under national standards judged by an independent official.