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Bulletproof dog gets bite-proof trainer

As seen on www.sequimgazette.com

The Sequim Police Department's K-9 program has a bullet-resistant vest and a bite training suit valued at $2,000 thanks to the Sunrise Rotary Club and an anonymous donor.

"These are valuable pieces of equipment necessary for the training and application of our K-9 unit," said Sequim K-9 Officer Mike Hill.

"They assist Chase in his training and will help him stay safe while he's at work.

"Because of the support and generosity of the citizens, organizations and businesses of Sequim, our K-9 program has been able to prosper since its inception in 2000," he said.

The vest for K-9 Officer Chase was bought with donations from the Sequim Sunrise Rotary.

The bite suit was donated anonymously. It is used to protect officers while Chase practices attacking suspects.

Chase is the Sequim Police Department's third police dog but first patrol dog. The department's first two dogs, Huey and Titus, were trained to sniff for drugs, as Chase will be later.

The Sequim Police Department decided in 2007 to switch from a narcotics dog to a patrol dog because of an increase in assaults, felonies and physical altercations between officers and suspects.

In 2008, Chase caught suspects wanted for murder, armed robbery and residential burglary.

Two of them carried firearms and one had an improvised explosive device.

Chase was born Aug. 2, 2005, in the Netherlands. He was bought with donations to the Police Department K-9 program. Hill selected him from about 50 dogs at a kennel in North Carolina.

Chase and Hill graduated from the Police K-9 Academy in July 2008 following four months of training.

The two went through 450 hours of instruction and practice that included tracking, trailing, evidence recovery, suspect apprehension, master protection, finding evidence and searching areas and buildings, Hill said.

The training included pursuing suspects through water and having Chase jump onto a rooftop from Hill's shoulders,

The pair now is certified through the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission as well as accredited by the Washington State Police Canine Association.



Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.

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