Harrisonburg PD K-9 Teams Recognized for Their Work - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Harrisonburg PD K-9 Teams Recognized for Their Work

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photo courtesy of the Harrisonburg Police Department photo courtesy of the Harrisonburg Police Department
Two canines and their human partner-officers with the Harrisonburg Police Department are getting top honors Monday. The Virginia Police Canine Association recognized two teams for tracking down leads in a heist at a bank and a robbery at a convenience store.

The police K-9 teams work to save human lives and uncover crime. The teams work in narcotics, patrol, article and building searches and much more.

While much of the work is seen as mundane, officers say they're grateful for the praise coming from their peers and the state. Officers say there are many hours of work put in on an ongoing basis behind the scenes, so it's nice to be recognized for all the hard work.

"The work that the officers put in to these K-9s is hour by hour, day by day, week by week. It's a long, continuing process that starts when they first get the K-9 and it'll move on through the end of their career,” said Lt. Rod Pollard, special operations division commander.

Rocko and K-9 handler Tim Wright won a "Case of the Year" award for capturing the suspect in a bank robbery at a BB&T in Harrisonburg. Rocko is 10 years old. Wright says this is a great way to culminate his long career to the Police Department. The K-9 unit has been in action since 1994.

Another pair from the department was also recognized. They tracked down the suspect in a convenience store robbery last year.

Harrisonburg Police Department Press Release

On February 26, the Harrisonburg Police Department’s K9 Unit received commendations from the Virginia Police Canine Association (VPCA) in Culpeper, Virginia. The VPCA is a law enforcement group that trains and supports police canines and handlers for member law enforcement agencies. Police canine teams can be certified in narcotics detections, explosive detection, cadaver detections, and patrol/utility. Patrol/Utility canine teams are certified in criminal apprehension, tracking, article searches, building searches and area searches. Member agencies consist of police departments and sheriff’s offices across northern and central Virginia.

The VPCA reviewed several K9 cases that were submitted from the association’s member agencies and selected the best K9 deployments for 2013. The Harrisonburg Police Department was awarded two “Case of the Year” awards in the category of Patrol Utility.

Officer Tim Wright and K9 partner Rocko were awarded “Case of the Year” for tracking a bank robbery suspect that assisted in the apprehension of the offender.

Officer Chris Ray and K9 partner Spartan were awarded “Case of the Year” for tracking an armed robbery suspect of a convenience store that led to the non-physical apprehension of the offender.

These cases are prime examples of the dedication that HPD has to its K9 program and the type of high level resource the department provides to our community.

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