The Utah Department of Corrections (UDC) K9 unit represented our Department at the National K9 Trials in Las Vegas in October. Three of UDC’s officers and their K9s competed against teams from law enforcement agencies from across the West coast in several skill areas.
Officers Michael Kalinay, Kent Hatch and Adam Lewis along with their K9s Falco, Boy and Egon were judged on many facets of their performance in the areas of Narcotics, Bombs, Area Search, Building Search, Obedience, Agility and handler Protection.
The department’s participation in the 27th Annual Las Vegas K9 trials has advanced the K9 unit’s program exponentially. The first day's scenarios offered training protocols in which UDC’s program had never practiced. The building civil searching methods have been greatly updated simply by training with Las Vegas Metro PD, according to handler Mike Kalinay. Not only did Las Vegas Metro PD offer help immediately following any training scenarios, they also extended a line of communication for UDC to further discuss training methods beyond this year’s trials.
“The scenarios offered by Las Vegas Metro PD mimicked real-life situations their K9 team has encountered on the streets of Las Vegas while on duty,” said Officer Michael Kalinay. “I cannot express how much fun it was to see our UDC K9s introduced to such a diverse environment and excel in civil search work.”
Although the team didn’t place in the competition, they learned a lot of new skills and became connected into a vast network of K9 units across the West coast. This outside help with K9 training and the sharing of information is priceless within the K9 community. Many agencies out-of-state and throughout Utah are now a network used by our UDC K9 team to pull additional resources of information, training methods, and case law.
The Las Vegas K9 Trials are held annually and the UDC K9 unit will hopefully be in attendance and bring what they learned this year as they compete again with the 30 departments that attend. The next set of K9 Trials is scheduled for May 2018.
The Friends for Las Vegas K9 is a non-profit organization, which was originally formed to support the Las Vegas Metro K9 Trials. The Friends for Las Vegas K9 is completely independent of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. For more information on the organization that puts on this educational and communally beneficial program see www.friends4lvk9.com.
- Public Information Office, November 14, 2017