Redding Police Officer Kip Kinneavy’s partner, Vermut, was one of the first members of the police department to enter the U.S. Bank in Burney during the Dec. 15 three-hour robbery standoff. Vermut, a police canine, was lifted into the bank’s attic to ensure no one was hiding in the attic or in the ducts.
Police canines, used by police departments for tracking, search and rescue, and criminal apprehension, can conduct searches in a quarter of the time it takes a human officer. The dogs save time and human lives, and are a balance for the loss of manpower in tough economic times. Canines are often a first line of defense for apprehending suspects, but are also instrumental in searching for lost family members and locating hidden narcotics.
The Redding Police Department’s canine team recently showed what they are made of (with some help from their human handlers) at a Communities for Police Canines training night.
The non-profit Communities for Police Canines conducts training nights to educate the public about the role of police canines and their benefit to the police department. In addition, the group raises funds to assist the department with purchasing new canine team members, assists handlers with a portion of the expenses to care for the dogs when they retire from police work and supplement the equipment, training and resource needs of active police canines.
Cannon, Carr, Yari, Vermut and a newcomer, Taro, took the opportunity during training night to dispel some myths about police canines. One hundred eighty-degrees from ferocious, the dogs were sweet and social.
All the canine team members live with their handlers, interact well with their children and are secretly spoiled by the officers’ wives.
Although about 90 percent of the dogs’ training is focused on biting, this is a small part of what they practice on duty. Police canines are primarily used for locating human scents and narcotics. The focus on bite training ensures that the dogs learn bite control, allowing them to apprehend a suspect without causing injury. But make no mistake, when called to duty, these dogs are dedicated and focused, exhibited by their ability to track, search, apprehend, subdue and sniff out four different narcotics.
So, the next time you hear barking from a Redding Police Department K9 vehicle, remember, it’s just Cannon, Carr, Yari, Vermut or Taro, letting you know they are ready to work.
Adam Mankoski is a recent North State transplant who feels completely at home here. He enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner own HawkMan Studios and are the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday ArtHop. Email your North State events to firstname.lastname@example.org.