JPD Undergoes K9 Training

JPD Undergoes K9 Training
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K-9 Team Supervisor Travis Walthall is happy to be out of his “bite suit”.

“I took all the bites from the dogs,” Walthall said.

His body was a prop for roughly 30 officers from across the Midwest during a three-day seminar on SWAT tactics and K-9 strategies.

“Our arms are gonna be bruised wherever we got bit,” Walthall said. “We’re gonna be bruised for a couple weeks.”

“It just wasn’t about the K-9 officers,” Cpl. Nick Jimenez said. “It showed us how to deploy the K-9 in conjunction with a tactical unit.”

Jimenez said if area law enforcement are looking to focus on drug enforcement, it’s vital for department task forces and SWAT units to learn to utilize K-9s.

“They’re so versatile they can assist with narcotic detection or a track of a lost person,” Jimenez said.

“Despite all the resources at the JPD’s disposal. All the new technology can’t replicate what a dog can do.

“K-9s is still the only [tool] that we can deploy, and before it’s used, be called back if the violator or suspect complied with our demands,” Jimenez said. “Which enhances the safety of the community, the officer, and potential suspect.”

All reasons which Walthall says makes the training, and bruises, worth it.

“Having a live animal, and being able to train it, and watch your training pay off is pretty rewarding,” Walthall said. “They’re an invaluable tool for us.”

The Joplin Police always has at least one K-9 unit on duty. A police dog can make upwards of 50 contacts in a week.