TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – Police K 9 teams from across the state have spent the week in Tupelo, as part of intensive training.
The Law Dog K 9 seminar is organized by the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officer’s Association or MLEOA.
Some teams are completing their certification, while others are keeping their certification up to date. It’s also an opportunity to take part in scenario-based training, and it gives K 9 handlers a chance to show their skills during various competitions throughout the seminar.
This is the first time the Tupelo Police Department has hosted the event.
‘These dogs are very useful, we use them as a tool, if we have a violent fugitive on the run, we can bring a K 9 team in and use a dog to safely track the criminal, the dogs can smell what we can’ t, if they’re hiding, the dogs can protect the handler, we have a major crisis with narcotics, these dogs can sniff out narcotics and keep that from hitting the streets, ”said Corporal Dustin Tutor, with the Tupelo Police Department.
The training is free to all MLEOA members currently assigned to a law enforcement K 9 team.
“Typically K 9 training is a very expensive type of training to do, it’s a great tool, but very costly to departments so we try and do what we can limit that expense for them,” said Senatobia Police Chief Richard Chandler, who is also executive treasurer of MLEOA.
By Thursday morning, all the K 9 teams have been certified, all that was left was the fast and hard dog competition.
K 9 Officer Sean Jimmie is with the Choctaw Police Department and says the training he received will help him and his partner SOCO, provide the best service to his community.
“You won’t believe what these dogs, what we can find when they alert on vehicles, and other stuff, they’re just like another partner to us, our best friend, you can say,” Officer Jimmie said.
Twenty-seven teams took part in the three-day seminar, which was wrapped up with an awards ceremony.
The ‘Top Dog’ award went to Tupelo officer Ben Uhiren and his K 9, ‘Conan. ” A complete list of winners is pictured below.