The Prescott Police Department K-9 unit will hold a demonstration of its work on Tuesday, July 14, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds. The event is free and open to the public.
One hundred police officers and their dogs from across Arizona will be in Prescott the week of July 13-17 for training as part of a yearly certificate required by the Arizona Law Enforcement K-9 Association (ALECA). The public demonstration will include 20-30 dogs and their trainers.
The Prescott Police Department K-9 Team consists of two police dogs and their trainers, Police Officer Dan Smith and his K-9 partner Corey, a German Shepherd, and Sgt. Jeff Hemphill and his K-9 partner Hercules, a Dutch Shepherd.
“Our dogs do things that their human partners can’t,” said Sgt. Hemphill. “Due to their keen sense of smell, sight, agility and other abilities, they are a very valuable tool in police work.”
The dogs have been trained to find people, both those hiding from law enforcement to avoid being taken into custody, as well as individuals who have become lost or are missing. Dogs can also be trained to detect various narcotics and explosives. By training with actual narcotics and chemicals used in explosives, the dogs are able to smell the very distinct odors given off by these items.
“Our dogs are trained to locate narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, as well as search for and apprehend high-risk criminals who have fled from law enforcement and/or concealed themselves to avoid capture,” said Officer Smith.
The dogs have been through extensive training courses and are certified through the ALECA. Once the initial training and certification have been completed, the Prescott Police Department K-9 Team continues with frequent training to keep their skills sharp.
“The Prescott K-9 Team also provides canine demonstrations throughout the year for school programs, scout groups, community activities, businesses, and special interest groups,” said Prescott Police LT Amy Bonney. “These demonstrations provide an excellent opportunity to promote a greater understanding of how and why canines benefit law enforcement and citizens in their efforts to keep our communities safe.”