The Chino Valley Police Department established its Canine program in April 2006. The program has three critical purposes. The first is to be a tool to educate the public about illegal drugs and the harm they cause our community. The second is to help prevent illegal drugs from coming into and through our community. The third and often most notable purpose is the apprehension of those that use, transport and sell illegal drugs in our community.
Our canine officers and their handlers undergo extensive, advanced and specialized training in the detection of illegal drugs. Since the beginning of our program all canines have exceeded the national standards as set forth by the National Police Canine Association and the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association. In addition to becoming nationally certified, our canines and handlers undergo weekly training.
The Department’s first canine, Gage a German Shepherd, worked diligently with his handler, Officer Randy Chapman, from April of 2006 until Gage was retired in December of 2013. Sgt. Chapman was promoted to the rank of Sergeant just before the retirement of Gage. Gage is currently living out his retirement at the home of Sgt. Chapman.
The Chino Valley Police Department was able to expand the canine program in September of 2013 when a national business, with local ties, provided a generous donation for a new canine and equipment. The donation from Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc, or RUGER, paved the way for the acquisition of Gus, a Belgian Malinois. Gus was first partnered with Officer Pereda. Gus and Officer Pereda located and seized 29 pounds of methamphetamine on a traffic stop in early 2015. That quantity of drugs carries a street value of $1.3 million dollars and is the largest ever in Chino Valley history.
Gus is now partnered with Officer Johnson and has continued his NPCA/NNDDA certifications and has kept delivering his great work of helping with drug arrest.
After the retirement of Gage and promotion of Sgt. Chapman, the Chino Valley Police Department searched for a new canine and handler. Chino Valley Police obtained Bo, a yellow lab, in February of 2014 from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. Bo was teamed up with Officer Mark Garcia. Bo was a crowd favorite. He was outgoing, calm and he loved kids almost as much as they loved him. Bo had medical issues, which resulted in his early retirement in January of 2015. Bo currently lives with the family of a Chino Valley Police Officer and is enjoying his retirement.
The short career of Bo left Officer Garcia without a partner. A search was conducted and a new Belgian Malinois was located and purchased in January of 2015. The new canine didn’t have a name so the Chino Valley Police Department and the 2nd Grade Class of Ms. Jeffries, at Del Rio Elementary School, teamed up to name the newest edition to the canine program. The class decided on the name Jax. Jax and Officer Garcia were teamed up and participated in multiple community events. Jax and Garcia quickly bonded and within a month Jax and Garcia located and seized 11 pounds of Marijuana on a traffic stop.
Recently in June, 2016 Jax is now partnered with Officer Garrett and they both will continue their NPCA/NNDDA certifications.
The canine program at the Chino Valley Police Department has many other community partners who make the program a success. The partners include Olsen’s Grain, who provides the food for the life of our police canines, and Circle L Animal Clinic, who provides discounted medical care for the police canines.