I began my Law Enforcement career with the Placer County Sheriff’s Department in 1995 as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff. I frequently worked patrol on the graveyard shift but also worked the jail and special events.
In 1997, I was hired with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. I spent the next 3 years in corrections and I was assigned to the Rio Cousumnes Correctional Center. I transferred to Field Services (Patrol) in 2000 and I was assigned to South Patrol Services where I spent approximately 6 years as a Field Training Officer (FTO). I have enjoyed working in the South Sacramento Community since 2005. During this time, I volunteered my time to the SSD K9 Unit as an agitator and role player on training days. I later tested for the position of canine handler and was selected as a member of the SSD K9 Unit, in 2010, and I assumed the call sign “K9-4”.
I was paired up with K9 Ike. Ike was already in service and was working with another handler. Ike and I were very compatible and were able to hit the streets running. We certified within just two weeks and were ready for work. Ike knew what he is doing, I just had catch up. Ike is high energy, high drive German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix. Ike came to us from a kennel in Holland by way of our vendor in Indiana. Ike weights approximately 62 pounds. All of Ike’s commands are in English. Ike is amazing searching dog and can detect odor really well.
Our first apprehension was an assist call with an outside agency for a suspect that fled on foot from a vehicle. The suspect was wanted for drug trafficking and assault on an officer. The suspect was believed to be a canal area with thick blackberry bushes. I requested air support to FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) the canal, the outside agency helicopter FLIR’D the area and did not locate a “hot spot (suspect)”. I sent Ike on an area search command and Ike took off. Ike was in odor and alerting on a large, thick blackberry patch. Ike was committed to the blackberry patch and would not leave the area. Ike was having a difficult time trying to access the blackberries and even tried swimming in the canal. He just knew the bad guy was in the bushes. Another outside agency helicopter came to the scene and used their FLIR. I explained to the helicopter crew the area in which Ike was alerting. They were able to locate a “hot spot” in the bushes and direct Ike and I toward the suspect. This is the same area in which Ike would not leave, I had to assist Ike into blackberries and he apprehended the suspect. The suspect was so deep in the bushes, my cover officer, and myself where less than seven feet away from the suspect and we could not see him. A search of the suspect’s vehicle and house revealed 19 pounds of methamphetamine, 4 handguns, 2 assault rifles and $100,000 in cash. This re-confirms what every current and former canine handler has told me, “Trust your dog!” Good boy Ike.
Ike is a loveable, loyal and friendly dog at home. Ike is a part of my family and enjoys being around my wife. Ike and Bear, our German Shepherd, spend the day chasing each other around the yard. They also take turns licking each other’s ears, face and teeth. When I catch them grooming one another, they stop and chase each other. Ike loves, loves, loves water. If Ike is out when the lawn sprinklers are on, it’s a trip to the hardware store. The next thing I know I have water fountains in the yard. Don’t be fooled, Ike likes the garden hose too.
When I am getting ready for work and Ike hears me putting on my duty equipment or if I start our squad car, he starts to whine and bark. He does not stop barking or whining until I go out to his kennel and let him into the squad car. I open Ike’s car door and he runs and jumps in the back. I put Ike’s vest on him before leaving and you can see he is very happy to go to work.