More than 30 K-9 teams competed in the July 25 Connecticut Police K-9 Olympics during what turned out to be a gorgeous summer day.
Officers and their dogs were taken through their paces – though the dogs had the harder job of it – splashing into a moat, jumping through a car window, climbing over obstacles (including a pile of metal drums), and taking on the bad guy in a mock apprehension of a criminal.
Officers also were in the spotlight, however, demonstrating how well they had trained their dogs to pay attention – not the easiest thing to do with a crowd around you and other dogs running by – as well as obey hand signals and verbal commands.
The importance of the K-9′s ability to respond immediately to commands, or else jeopardize the safety of both dog and officer, was most apparent when the command was to lie low while scoping out a potentially dangerous situation, and to release the bad guy once he stops trying to fight or run away… some dogs had a little trouble complying with that one, apparently reluctant to let go of their catch.
The K-9 Olympics is a favorite for families and their children and this year’s 17th annual event was, again, very well attended.
In addition to the K-9 demonstrations, visitors could learn about dog obedience training, talk with one of the members of the Connecticut Bomb Squad, check out the UConn Police Department’s high-tech mobile command unit, and pick up a commemorative T-shirt, the proceeds of which will be donated to charity.
The Shriners also were on hand with their Keystone cop routine, creating balloon creatures and otherwise having fun with the children.
And parents took advantage of the CHIP child-identification service, which creates a take-home kit including a recording of the child’s voice, a DNA swab, fingerprints, and photo – all to have on hand if a child is lost or abducted.
Overall, the K-9 Olympics stands out as an opportunity for children and adults to understand the challenges and dangers that corrections officers, state and local police face in order to keep us all safe.
Below are some “snapshots” of the 2009 Connecticut Police K-9 Olympics – with video clips to follow.
Posted July 25, 2009