The Spanish Fork Police Department established their first K9 unit for the dual purpose of drug and suspect apprehension.
Lt. Matt Johnson said the unit is hoped to be a great aid to the police department, as well as the community they serve.
“The dog will help with dealing with drug problems, and to smoothly locate suspects and arrests,” Johnson said. “The unit makes our community safer and is a great asset to the citizens.”
The K9 Unit was created following a generous anonymous donation, specifically for the purpose of adding a K9 force. Current city council member and future Spanish Fork Mayor Steven Leifson says the addition will be a tremendous help to the city.
We are all excited about it, and the heighten safety it brings,” Leifson said. “Overall, it says a great deal about our city that a citizen would step forward and make a donation like this.”
The unit currently has one dog in the meticulous 16 week course training program with his officer. They work with a trainer to teach both the dog and officer how to approach situations to keep everyone safe.
“The dog and officer go through all the training specifically with each other so they can work as a team.” Johnson said.
Cory Matthews is the officer who has been paired with the dog. They have been training together since June. The apprehension training has already been completed and the drug training will be finished in about 3 weeks.
The dog is a Belgium Malimois, and has a life span of 12-14 years. The breed is known to be helpful, friendly, watchful, and hardworking.
“The presence of a dog with the force will hopefully be a little intimidating to criminals, and encourage an easy change of heart,” Leifson said.
The police department hopes to expand the unit as it become more established and to fit the needs of the Spanish Fork community.