Dog Day Afternoon

Ventura Police Department officers and chief honor K-9’s.

by Richard Lieberman

The National Police Dog Foundation held its annual ceremony at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Ventura. The event to honor Police K-9s and their handlers drew participants from Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Among the participants Oxnard police, Santa Paula police, Ventura police, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and Ventura County Search and Rescue were included in the ceremony.

Held on a Wednesday in March, Norm McDaniel spokesman and Emcee of the event and a National Police Dog Foundation board member, discussed with the attendees’ budget issues that target dogs and their handlers. Police dogs and their handlers are likely targets for budget cutting and generally among the first to be cut.  “So these agencies really need the support of the public and organizations like the National Police Dog Foundation to be able to provide those additional funds to put those canines and those officers back on the street to help protect us” said McDaniel of Ventura.

Among the attendees Oxnard Police Chief Jeri Williams added “the presence of a police dog can immediately defuse a situation”, Williams also said, “Just hearing that bark, just seeing the dog next to the officer, adds a different dynamic and most times ends with a better resolved situation, “

Guest speaker James Corbett of Boston, a special FBI agent penned a book “Solemn Vow” which showcases photographs of 50 police dogs and their accomplishments. “Some saved a life, some have rescued little girls, some have pulled people out of fires,” said Corbett. All the proceeds from Corbett’s book will be donated to the National Police Dog Foundation.

Attending from the Oxnard Police Department Daniel Casson came with Jax, his 3rd canine partner since 1998. “The dog is probably the most valued and used tool in the Police Department because they do so many different things.” Said Casson.

Edo and his handler Nhut Huynh an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department faced an armed suspect, and two wounded victims earlier this year. Edo was used as a diversion entering the house from one direction so officers could enter the house from a different direction to rescue the wounded victims and apprehend the armed suspect. The plan worked and Edo went first to the two wounded hostages, and then found and engaged the suspect. Edo was named Hero of the Year by the National Police Dog Foundation at the event.

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