I began my career with the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department in 1989. I have worked in the Superior Courthouse, Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center and Patrol. September of 1996 I was selected to become a handler in the Sheriff’s Canine Detail. My interests in working with canines started long before my assignment to the detail. I was an associate member of the detail for several years. During training days I would assist as being the “bad guy” in training scenarios. This helped me learn some of the techniques I would eventually use as a handler and ultimately the detail trainer.
During my time in the detail I have worked four canines, two German Shepherds and two Belgian Malinois. I have worked with my current canine “Clint” since 2005. Clint is a Belgian Malinois. He was born on Holland August of 2004. Clint like most Malinois does everything fast. He comes out of his kennel fast, gets in the car quickly drinks and eats fast. This behavior is just part of what makes the Malinois breed such a great police dog. Someone once said to me “Clint is controlled chaos” Yes he is fast, but he is quick to respond to me. Clint and I have a great working relationship. He is extremely enthusiastic to work and please. Clint and I have competed in and won many awards during canine competitions. During one of the competitions Clint scored a perfect score of 600 points in the protection phase. This is very difficult to accomplish. To have 6 judges agree you and your dog were flawless is very special. I was thrilled!
More importantly Clint has an untiring motivation to do his work in the field. He loves coming to work more then anything. Clint’s primary job is to locate suspects, however, his secondary job, which is equally important, is the locating of firearms. Clint’s search abilities are excellent. He completely understands his tasks and is very focused. Clint has had several difficult firearm finds. One in particular stands out. An officer stopped a car for a traffic violation. One of the passengers ran from the car and was located by a department canine. After the suspects capture it was determined he was wanted on several charges and he was armed with a handgun when he fled the vehicle stop. Clint was tasked with checking the flight path of the suspect for a discarded firearm. Clint located the loaded handgun within a short time. The handgun was buried in a shallow hole amongst some bushes the suspect had hidden in during his escape attempt. It was later determined the suspect was being investigated for a homicide and the handgun Clint located was the murder weapon.
Clint is a member of my family. He enjoys playing with my children. He is fun to be around both at home and work. The life of a canine handler is exciting, rewarding and demanding. It is a way of life that I get the pleasure of being part of.