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K9 training session in Elkhart prepares dogs for the force

WSBT 22 photo

Police from across Indiana are in Elkhart right now for a week-long K9 training session.

Both the handler and dog go through a wide variety of exercises.

All this week, police dogs and their handlers from around the state are going through rigorous training to prepare them for different situations in the field.

40 different units are working at several locations around Elkhart. The goal is to stay up to date on the latest techniques.

“It’s not a competition here,” said Jamie Snyder, organizer of the event. “We're all here to make each other better, so when we work through certifications, and guys come up with issues, we try to work through those, to get them through the point where they can certify.”

One interesting exercise is to find a suspect that ran from police and climb up a tree to avoid capture. Certain dogs are trained to do certain things.

The certification training is designed to give the handler and the dog a wide variety of scenarios they could face out in the field, indoors or out.

We have full-detection dogs, that's what they do, that's their primary focus,” said Jason Ray, of the Elkhart K9 unit. “Then we have utility dogs, where they may be a narcotic dog, and they also do building searches, or aggression or tracking

It’s a line of work that can be challenging at times, but rewarding nonetheless.

“It’s not only rewarding, but it’s a very stressful position, you're responsible for not only yourself, but for all of the actions the dog does, and you want to make sure that you represent yourself well to the public,” said Chris Faerty, of the Fort Wayne K9 Unit. “You want to make sure that you are also helping out the officers that called you there.”

In this case, teamwork between the two of them is key.

The K-9 units will be required to go into water as part of a training exercise later this week.

This training ends this Friday the14th.

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