BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Nearly 40 K9s and their handlers were in Butler County for the Kansas Police Dog Association (KPDA) 2018 fall training seminar.
The 3-day seminar focused on drug searches, patrol tactics, evidence searches and tracking.
“Every time you step your canine out of the vehicle, you want them to be held to a higher standard than the minimal standard which we do,” said Andover Police Sgt. Mickey Farris.
Farris gave KSN a behind the scenes look at the training and how the officers and their dogs prepare for on-the-job situations.
He and his dog, Thor, took our camera crew through several scenarios including drug and evidence searches. Farris said training is crucial and has proven successful.
“They solve a lot of crimes for us,” Farris said. “The things that they do, the locating that they can get, I mean, they find suspects we can’t.”
Farris said Thor recently found a gun along the turnpike that was used in an armed robbery.
“It would have taken 50 officers side-by-side combing through weeds like that just to find it, so just that in itself alone. He found that gun, helped put that criminal behind bars,” he said. “Their sense of smell is 1,000 times greater than ours, so they can find those things that we can’t as law enforcement.”
Farris admitted each K9 has their own personality, but with the right training they all share a common goal.
“Are some of them stubborn? Yes. Do some of them have their own unique way of doing things? Yes. But the goal is to find that narcotics, to find that lost person, to detain that suspect,” Farris said.
He added the training not only helps the dogs work on different skills, it allows officers from different departments to share tips with one another.
“It’s invaluable because we all learn from each other,” he said.
KPDA hosts two seminars a year. The spring seminar includes certification classes.