RCPD & SDHP Team Up to Host K-9 Training
This week the Rapid City Police Department and the South Dakota Highway Patrol are teaming up to host the annual K-9 dog training in Rapid City.
Around 32 agencies from all over South Dakota and even some from Wyoming traveled to take part in not just networking with other K-9 officers, but to train their dogs to meet the state's standards.
"It’s a mix of patrol dog training, which is the apprehension and suspect search and tracking. We also have scenarios set up for bomb dogs and narcotic dogs,” says Scott Sheldon a Special Operations Officer with the South Dakota Highway Patrol.
Besides the companionship, handlers train the dogs to be quick and efficient when out on the job, where dogs are trained to do the same work as 20 men at the same time. Officials say having man's best friend by an officer's side is an added advantage when out on the road or responding to a call
"They're just a really valuable asset and this type of training that we have keeps that asset sharp, keeps the tool going,” says Sheldon.
Training sessions happen twice a year and each lasts one week and are important for both officers and dogs because most dogs have zero training before they're selected to be in a k-9 unit.
The handler is required to maintain the dogs and ensure the team meets certification standards, where patrol and narcotics dogs are required to be certified annually.