Secretary of Public Safety Gets New Assets
By Jesús Aguado
Daily at the fields adjacent to the city hall, ten canines—Belgian Shepherds and Rottweilers—are trained in detection of narcotics, search and rescue, and immobilization.
A visit to the Canine Unit creates awareness that each dog learns how to be a police officer and obey the primary orders in French for formation and attack. Rafael Rodríguez, the instructor, told Atención that the Secretariat already has four dogs that have been patrolling the city the last few days for safety of Sanmiguelenses. Rodríguez said that the new officers could be completely trained within the next eight months.
The ten new police officers in training performed several kinds of formations next to the human officers. They sat and then attacked an agitator. Rodríguez commented that the dogs can reach velocity of up to 40 km/hour, and they can jump to 2.30 meters—the Belgian Shepherds—and to 1.70—the Rottweiler. During the practice, an agitator—properly equipped to avoid injuries—annoyed the dogs, who attacked when they received the order from their human mate. After just two weeks of training, a Rottweiler and a Belgium Shepherd separately immobilized the antagonist. Trainer Rodríguez assured that in the field, many different scenarios will be prepared in order to train the canines for all kinds of situations and emergencies.
To select the two-legged officers who would accompany the four-legged trainees, several exams were conducted for determining the best matches. Some officers talked with Atención after the training, saying they were happy to share their job with these new friends, who also are a new tool.
Secretary of Public Safety Ricardo Benavides informed that the Canine Police are being activated to fulfill one of the commitments made by Mayor Ricardo Villarreal during his campaign. The dogs, he said “are a new tool for police officers, and they ought to have total control of the animals so they can be friendly with people and act only when necessary.” This is why the temperament of the animals is being controlled. Benavides said that contact with people is very important for them, and this is why they are already patrolling.
Anyone can approach these new officers, assured the secretary, because the dogs will act only under the order of their partners. The budget to buy the dogs’ equipment has already been approved.