West Virginia police departments shine light on K-9 officers this week

Local News

BARBOURSVILLE, WV (WOWK) – Police officers from across the Mountain State are spending this week training alongside their canine partners in Cabell County.

57 K-9 teams from all over the state will be training all week long. The wide-open and wooded areas inside Barboursville Park allow teams to properly train for any situation they may be in.

During the training session and seminar held by the West Virginia Police K9 Association, the handlers are not just making sure the canines know their commands, but can also put them to action.

Chief Deputy with the Cabell County Sheriff’s Office and president of the West Virginia Police K9 Association Doug Adams says the teams are divided into separate areas.

Some K-9 teams are single purpose which is a single, either narcotic, single explosive, or apprehension.

Doug Adams, Chief Deputy Cabell County Sheriff’s Office

In order to be a successful team, the bond between a canine and their handler has to be strong. For many departments, losing a K-9 officer is the same as losing any other member of the team.

The names of more than 100 K-9 officers from all over the state are carved in stone and placed along the memorial in the Barboursville Park. The idea is to honor those who’ve served in the past.

As departments move forward with training newer canines, the thought of “knowing everything there is to know” is non-existent. Kanawha County Sheriff’s Corporal Chris Lyons says the opportunity to train and educate themselves past what they already know, helps strengthen their units.

You’ve still got to have the mindset that you’re going to go learn something new and you can’t be close-minded to anything.

Cpl. Chris Lyons, Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office

Visitors to the park are being asked to avoid the areas marked off for the K-9 training and to also not approach handlers or the K-9 officers while they’re training.

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