Soon, the San Gabriel Police Department will welcome two new furry members to its team. Bentley, 1, and Edy, 3 – both Malinois – will be joining the force as part of the department’s new K-9 unit.
“Historically, we’ve always asked for outside assistance from surrounding stations that have a K-9 unit,” said Officer Paul Puente, who is paired up with Bentley. “It’s great that we’re bringing a unit in-house to San Gabriel.”
Both trained in apprehension, Bentley and Edy will be paired up with Officer Paul Puente and Officer Robert Barada as their new partners.
The new unit is currently undergoing an intensive six-week course that covers apprehension and detection work. In addition, both dogs will also pursue specialized training in the future that will allow the new K-9 unit to cover narcotics and explosives detection. “Our city is four-square miles, and to have two dogs is a big deal,” Puente said. “Both dogs are apprehension dogs, but one also specializes in explosives while the other specializes in narcotics.”
Once training concludes, the dogs will bring a wealth of resources to the police department. “In terms of benefits, they’re a force multiplier. One dog can do the work of 10-15 officers when they’re searching through a building,” notes Puente. “If there’s a big building, we can use the dogs to search or apprehend the suspect,” said Barada. “This is big in terms of efficiency. No one can hide from the dogs.”
Training continues until mid-September, with the dogs expected to enter the field later this year.