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BPD's K-9 Unit adds two new four-legged officers

Zeke, Tito start their 12 weeks training
Posted at 3:41 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 20:38:59-05

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — The Bakersfield Police Department has announced its newest recruits who will assist them in sniffing out crime.

On the corner of Dog Alley and Canine Court, one can find the latest recruits 2-year-old Zeke and 1½-year-old Tito.

The duo has been training for just under two weeks at BPD's K-9 Training Field.

Chad Haskins, a senior officer for the Bakersfield Police Department, says the two are currently green dogs.

"We buy what we call is a green dog, which is a completely untrained dog, typically it is $9,000 to $10,000 for that dog," Haskins said. "If you buy a trained dog they are typically $20,000 to $25,000, but we prefer the untrained so we can train them up to standards," said Haskins.

Zeke and Tito are the two newest replacements for the K-9 Unit of 11.

The four-legged officers will train for 12 weeks completing field training, obedience training, and obstacle courses.

Haskins adds that the K-9 Unit pays for itself by the level of success.

"Last year they found in the neighborhood of $50,000-to-$60,000 in money alone," said Haskins. "We have had several pounds of different types of drugs found."

Zeke and Tito according to their handlers, are learning quickly, love to work and play.

Haskins shares the two will work a total of six years before they retire, which can be a challenge for the officers.

"When we have to retire that dog one day that’s a huge challenge," Haskins shared. "In your mind and heart, you know that your dog won’t be working for you, for us that is the hardest part."

Haskins says that once these good boys retire their handlers always buy them back from the department.

He says never in the history of the unit have they not had a handler do this.