first_imgNot all dogs can be police canines.Those were the words of Vancouver Police Department Special Operations Sgt. Mark Blaisdell spoke to a group of kids at a local dog-oriented 4-H group. The group was donating money to the police department’s K-9 unit, and the children were expecting to see two new police dogs in action on the morning of Aug. 2.Unfortunately, police and the K-9 unit were busy dealing with a standoff. The 4-Hers were instead given the opportunity to ask questions about the special officers and their four-legged partners. The major takeaway? The specialized unit undergoes rigorous and continuous training to build strong bonds between officer and animal.Back in August, the unit was in the middle of training two officers and two new canines. The police department was reluctant to give access to that training; police dogs are popular with the public, but they don’t all make the cut.With the training now finished, Officer Rocky Epperson and canine Koa have been patrolling together for about two weeks, although they’re still accompanied by a veteran officer in the unit and will be for some time.Epperson and Koa responded to numerous calls in their first week on the job. Their partnership would have been impossible without a significant amount of time to build trust, Epperson said.last_img