K-9 Program

The Arroyo Grande Police Department began its K-9 program in 1985. In the ensuing twenty-five years there have been five police service dogs used by the Department, with two new police service dogs and their officer handlers currently deployed in the patrol force since April 2010. Officer Shane Day has “Gregor” as his partner. “Gregor” is a male black German Shepherd born in Slovakia that accepts commands in the Slovakian language. Officer Zak Ayala has “Daghan” as his partner. “Daghan” is a male German Shepherd born in the Czech Republic that accepts commands in the Czech language. "Daghan" is sable in color.

The cost of each selectively bred police service dog is $8,500, while the initial and essential ongoing intensive training in search, protection and narcotics detection, handling equipment and kennel represent substantial additional costs that continue every year the dog is in service. Each dog and its officer handler represent a serious commitment to providing the most disciplined and professional level of service. The Police Department strongly believes that if a police service dog can find one dangerous criminal threatening our community, locate one lost child or help keep illegal narcotics off the high school campus, that police service dog is well worth the expense.

The purchase and training of these valuable police service dogs could not have been accomplished without considerable financial support from individuals and businesses in the community. The Arroyo Grande Police Department would like to recognize the major individual and business donors for their important financial support. There are many other individuals who are too numerous to list who contributed additional funds to support the purchase and training of the police service dogs:

• Canidae All Natural Pet Foods ($12,000)
• Eddie El-Helou ($8,000)
• San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department Advisory Council ($5,000)
• San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department Asset Forfeiture fund ($5,000)
• San Luis Obispo County Supervisors Adam Hill and Katcho Achadjian ($1,000/Supervisor for fiscal year 2009)
• John Hayashi, Arroyo Grande ($1,000)
• P.K. O’Lear, Arroyo Grande ($1,000)
• State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Company, Agent Jamie Clark, Arroyo Grande ($1,000)
• San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Katcho Achadjian ($1,000 for fiscal year 2010)
• Farm Supply, Arroyo Grande ($869 in raffle donations)
• Paul S. Wolf, D.C., Arroyo Grande ($700)
• TerBorch & Associates, Arroyo Grande ($500)

These highly trained police service dogs assist in searching for, locating, and apprehending suspects while minimizing the potential danger to officers and the community. By deploying two police service dogs, the Police Department is able to ensure that a K-9 is normally available seven days each week.

Both police service dogs are cross-trained in suspect tracking, protection and narcotics detection to provide critical tools for the Police Department. In narcotics detection, the police service dogs are an invaluable asset in reducing the narcotics sales and use that threaten the safety of the community and particularly endanger our youth. At the request of the Lucia Mar Unified School District, both police service dogs are used to conduct regular sweeps for illegal narcotics on the Arroyo Grande High School campus. Using the police service dogs in the patrol force enables the Police Department to more effectively ensure the safety of the community. Through their involvement in public events and demonstrations, these police service dogs are also a highly visible means to build and support more positive relations with the community.

Although the Arroyo Grande Police Department police service dogs are available to assist other law enforcement and school district personnel throughout San Luis Obispo County, they are primarily used in Arroyo Grande and the other South County communities. In the months since both police service dogs have been deployed in the field they have assisted in the capture of robbery suspects, searches for suspects and narcotics for other police agencies in the South County and the California Highway Patrol and the seizure of significant amounts of illegal narcotics including methamphetamine.

Even with all the generosity of the community, the Police Department needs additional funds to support the K-9 program and the ongoing essential training for the dogs. The Police Department is inviting you to become involved in a partnership with us in supporting the K-9 program. If you are interested in contributing to the K-9 program, you may make a tax deductible contribution to the SLOLEAF/AGPD K-9 Fund at www.SLOLEAF.org (Tax ID# 36 45 19083). If you would like additional information regarding the K-9 program, please contact the Patrol Services Commander at 805-473-5110.