One of Ventura Police Department’s newest K9 Teams, Officer Keith Therrien and K9 Falco, will be introduced at Ventura Baptist Church on March 13 at 9:30 a.m. Falco was purchased from a donation by Ventura Baptist Church. Falco is a two and half year old all black German Shepard from Germany. His full name is Falco Von Pentavita. Falco came to the United States on January 11th and started his training to become a police service dog that same day. Falco graduated the Inglis Police Dog Academy on February 18 and began protecting the citizens of Ventura February 19th.
The Ventura Police Department has four K9 teams. All are assigned to the Patrol Unit so that a team is on-duty seven days a week, providing around the clock service to the community. All of our canines are German Shepherds and they live at home with their handler/officer and their families. We use our K9 teams for a variety of public safety assignments. The two most frequent uses are to locate fleeing suspects and to find illegal drugs. Canines can search an entire warehouse, for example, in much less time than a team of officers could perform the same job. Canines can sniff out hidden suspects thereby making them more effective in this situation than their human counterparts. Using K9 teams allows the department to perform a variety of dangerous tasks in a quick and more effective manner.
Our department, along with other law enforcement agencies from Santa Barbara and Ventura County, train weekly with Dave Inglis, one of the foremost K9 trainers in the United States. Weekly training sessions focus on tasks such as searching, apprehension, drug detection, obedience, agility and confined searches.
The National Police Dog Foundation, founded by Dave and Debbie Inglis, has assisted in the purchase of all of our canines (past and present). Donations made by Ventura Baptist Church were provided to the Foundation for the purchase of Falco. The Foundation seeks donations from the community and uses the money to purchase and train police dogs for law enforcement agencies throughout Ventura County. The donation of a trained police dog and handler is a tremendous benefit to our Department and to the community. On average the cost for a canine is $12,000, with an additional $8,000-$10,000 for training and certification, no tax payer dollars are used for the effort. All of the training is provided through the generosity of donations to the Foundation.