BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The newest member of the Bakersfield Police Department is a great asset to the team. He’s quick, motivated, and has four legs.
“He is just full of energy. He’s a big boy already, he’s almost 80 pounds and he's just over a year old," said Officer Noe Ramirez, who is partnered with Jack, a 1-year-old German Shepherd.
Ramirez himself is new to the K9 unit. The two have been working hard training for the day they can hit the streets as a team.
“We both have nerves, we’re both new to each other, and new to this job, so we’re both trying to figure it out and trying to get used to each other," Ramirez said.
Police dogs have been used by BPD since 1989, and they currently have eleven on the force, all trained at BPD's gun range on Truxtun Avenue. The training takes about 10-12 weeks. The dogs serve as a great tool for the department, aiding in searches for drugs, bombs and suspects.
“They can find, locate, and let us know where somebody is a lot quicker than we as an officer can go in and find somebody," said Senior Officer Chad Haskins, Elite K9 Trainer.
The dog was donated by Carol Craig, who named the dog after her late husband Jack Craig, a war hero who served in Vietnam and was awarded two Purple Hearts for being injured in combat, four Bronze Stars for heroism or meritorious achievement or service, as well as a “V” Device” for heroism. Ramirez is eager to get to work with his new partner.
“Can’t wait for that first call where I can take him out of the car and do what we’ve been training to do this whole time," he said.
BPD says new k9s are expensive, so they always appreciate it when people like Craig can donate.