One of the newest members of the Glendale Police Department was imported all the way from Germany recently and was training this week to start sniffing out crime.
Jager is a 17-month-old German shepherd that joined the force’s three-dog K-9 unit about a month ago, replacing the now-retired Yudy.
Yudy now lives with her handler of nine years, Officer Maribel Feeley, who has taken on training Jager and will be his career partner.
“Jager’s a big dog with a little puppy personality,” she said. “He’s very hyper, very willing to work and please and do everything you ask of him and very excitable.”
Jager received some initial training while overseas, but still has some courses ahead of him, including some training in smelling out narcotics, Feeley said.
“We went for a five-week initial protection work class, which teaches them the foundation of obedience and protection apprehension work, which is finding bad guys, letting me know he’s found a bad guy and the apprehension of a bad guy,” she said.
The dogs are first trained in German and they continue receiving commands in German from Glendale officers.
Feeley has taken Jager out on a couple of rides throughout Glendale to get him familiar with the community and the sight of what it looks like to place someone under arrest.
On Tuesday, Jager and the other K9 dogs, fellow German shepherds Idol and Branko, were in Carson undergoing training wearing e-collars, a device Sgt. Sean Riley refers to as “invisible leashes.”
Police dogs equipped with e-collars are able to scope out areas without a leash, letting them go into an area first while officers can stay back and take cover if there’s any immediate danger.
“It lets the officers have a free hand for a gun or to hold a weapon while searching for felony suspects,” Lt. Steve Robertson said.
The police department’s K9 program is funded entirely by donations to pay for costs such as training and food.
Robertson said the police dog team will soon be getting a fourth member, a cocker spaniel that will specialize in sniffing out narcotics, and possibly another member to focus on tracking.
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