After enlisting into the United States Air Force as a Security Forces specialist in 1995, my law enforcement career began. Located in Vacaville, CA., I served active duty for six honorable years at Travis Air Force Base, and was deployed to numerous locations worldwide at the tail end of Desert Storm and Operation Desert Watch, including Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. During my time stationed at Travis AFB, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to train closely with the K9 detail as an agitator. At the time, the unit was small as only four working dogs were used, and my interest in working as a K9 handler was strong from that point forward.
In 2001, I separated honorably from the Air Force and joined the Sacramento County Sheriffs Department Academy as a recruit. After months of extensive training, I graduated and went on to begin my career at the main jail. As a new hire, I worked as a booking officer, floor officer, and release officer, before being chosen to become a training officer and Cell Extraction Response Team Leader (CERT). By the end of 2005, I was selected and transferred to the contract city of Rancho Cordova where I served as a patrol officer. It was then, shortly after, that I began to pursue my dream of becoming a K9 handler. Every Wednesday, I dedicated myself to attend all K9 training days, volunteered as a role player and soon became the details primary agitator.
A few years later, certain members of the detail were promoted, and their positions would eventually be available and open to fill. Being notified of this, I tested for the position of K9 handler, was subsequently selected as a member of the SSD K9 Unit, and went into service as “K9-3”. I have been assigned to the SSDK9 Unit since 2008.
Ronin, a German Shephard, has been my partner ever since. Ronin was raised by a handler in the SF Bay Area and came from Von Sontausen German Shepherd Dogs in California. Ronin is a very enthusiastic companion and partner, and has tremendous drive for the ball. His eagerness translates to him being a very strong tracker, and persistent searcher of criminals. As well as being very social and an extremely loving dog, his intelligence is amazing and allows him to adapt quickly to new tasks and new environments. When Ronin is not at work or playing ball, he enjoys lying in his kennel, or on his bed where he pacifies his favorite fuzzy, black and white ball, seeming to always put him into a trance-like state.
Ronin and I have a true and close working relationship. We have both learned a lot from one another already. I look forward to working with Ronin for many years, and having him as part of my family even longer. Although he is my buddy, he knows when it is time for work when he hears our patrol car fire up in the garage. He paces in his kennel until I open the door and put his vest on. “Lets get to work Ronin.”