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These Dogs are Hot

 

"Montebello Team 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 a month.

"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."

 


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