First-ever Center PD K-9 competition delights crowd

Photos by Mechel Meek The Center Police Department hosted a K-9 competition at Center Community Park on July 31 that showcased law enforcement K-9’s from across the state. The first-ever event for the Center Police Department served as a fundraiser for its K-9 program. The Center Police Department K-9 competition included an obstacle course that tested each K-9 officer and their handler.

CENTER — The Center Police Department hosted a K-9 competition at Center Community Park on July 31 that showcased police K-9’s from Center PD, Gunnison PD, Delta PD, Delta County Sheriff’s Office, Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office, Valley K-9, and High Desert Police K-9 Association.

K-9’s Kitt, Blitz, Ronin, Jenna, Tig “Integrity”, Ralco, and Beno all participated in different areas of the competition. This event was free for the public to attend. A bright sunny day was the backdrop for a competition that showed how these police dogs do their work.

The day started with warmup runs on the obstacle course, with each handler and dog familiarizing themselves with the different obstacles that simulate real-life challenges.

Following the warmup, a simulated police chase ran across the football field with lights flashing and sirens wailing. The K-9’s then pulled volunteers in “bite suits”, who were pretending to be resisting subjects, out of vehicles.

After that portion, the K-9’s then ran the obstacle course and flushed out a “resisting” volunteer in a bite suit out of a “blind”, which is an enclosed box that the volunteer hides in.

Then the dogs were carried by the handler to a target range where the handler fired simunitions, which is non-lethal training ammunition, at a target.

Next was a wall jump, followed by a crawl through a boxed-in obstacle.

The final test was chasing down a running “suspect” in a bite suit and pulling them to the ground for the handler to arrest.

The timed obstacle course was won by K-9 Kitt and her handler Aaron Fresquez of the Center Police Department.

Fresquez was also responsible for organizing and creating this event.

“We are planning on training more K-9’s and sell them to other agencies to support our K-9 unit,” Fresquez said.

Fresquez will be attending a train the trainer K-9 program to become certified as a police K-9 trainer.

Accompanying the demonstrations were talks with the handlers who explained their jobs and talked about how their dogs are trained. Bloodhound K-9 Blitz of the Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office put on a demonstration of how he finds missing people by finding a volunteer from the audience who led a winding trail, which Blitz then used to track the person down and “rescue” them.

Available for purchase were food and drinks, Center PD K-9 clothing and a chance drawing for prizes. All proceeds went to the Center PD K-9 unit to support their program.

Photos by Mechel Meek The Center Police Department hosted a K-9 competition at Center Community Park on July 31 that showcased law enforcement K-9’s from across the state. The first-ever event for the Center Police Department served as a fundraiser for its K-9 program. The Center Police Department K-9 competition included an obstacle course that tested each K-9 officer and their handler.

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