These Dogs are Hot
Places First in Police Canine Trials"
By Anne Donofrio-Holter
As printed in Spotlight on Montebello,
July - August, 2007
Montebello Police Corporal Rick Money, and his canine
partner, Ares, an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois, placed first out of 38
teams from across the state in the Open Division at the 20th annual Police
Canine Trials hosted by the Redondo Beach Police Department.
The competing teams were rated in several categories
including obedience, agility, searching, narcotics detection and
protection. Protection carries the most points, testing the dog's
courage and drive, as well as response to a "call back" from the
handler in which the dog is asked to retreat.
The Montebello Police Department currently has one police
dog on active duty and a second dog, which will begin training
shortly. The animals are used in a variety of situations including
searching for hidden suspects, lost persons, narcotics and other evidence,
apprehending fleeing suspects, and protecting police officers as well as
citizens. To keep their skills sharp, K9 units train at least 50 hours
"Ares, who takes his commands in German, is trained
to search for people hidden in areas that may be unsafe for humans to search
and to protect the officer and citizens by barking aggressively and biting
on command," said Money. "He is also trained to search for
four different types of narcotics as well as hidden firearms."
Money, who has partnered with Ares for the past seven
years, joined the canine unit because of his passion for dogs, his love of
being a street cop and the ability to combine the two.
"Our K9 units are lifesavers and we need them to
protect our community as well as our officers," said Montebello Police
Chief Garry Couso-Vasquez, who added, given the city's current financial
status, it is very difficult maintaining this unit. "There is
cost in every tool that law enforcement uses, however you cannot put a price
tag on saving a person's life," he said.
According to Couso-Vasquez, donations, including a
generous donation from local businessman George Hensel, helps the department
keep this unit within its table of organization.
"We are so proud of the dedication and commitment of
Corporal Money and his partner, Ares," said Couso-Vasquez.
"This type of competition is extremely grueling and challenging and I
know our entire department is extremely proud of our first place win."
"The city council is also very proud of our police
canine unit's first place finish. This victory is a reflection of the
dedicated service our police department gives to the residents of
Montebello," said Councilman Jeff Siccama. "The city council
is committed to continue enhancing our police department's services for the
protection and safety of it's [sic] residents."