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An inside look at the Bakersfield Police K-9 Unit

Posted at 9:31 AM, Dec 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-19 12:31:38-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — K-9 Handler Brad Vaughn and his dog RJ like to play, but when it’s time to work, they protect our city as a Bakersfield Police K-9 unit. The duo partnered up about two years ago.

“I spend more time with him than my wife and kids sometimes," said Vaughn.

Vaugn said BPD's canines come from Europe. They go through extensive training that can take several months.

“All our dogs are trained in both the patrol aspects, so suspect apprehension and human odor. They’re also cross-trained in narcotics detection or explosives detection," said Vaughn.

RJ is one of the 11 canines working with BPD. The dogs and their handlers practice and train together every day.

“Breaking it up, having fun with them, playing with them, but also getting in good training with them," said Vaughn. "Obedience, the obstacle course, and then other requirements we need to do to keep up with these dogs’ skills."

Vaughn said there are several times RJ made all the difference while on duty.

“One time in particular, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think the person was going to be where we were searching and he was, and RJ found him long before I did," said Vaughn.

The dogs go home with their handlers at the end of each day. Vaughn said his relationship with RJ is typical for co-workers.

“They absolutely love each other, they trust each other, but they can get tired of each other sometimes," said Vaughn.

And he wouldn’t have it any other way

“You really do become just one team pretty quickly," said Vaughn.

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