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El Cerrito K-9 officer easing into new beat

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He might drink from the toilet if left unsupervised, but El Cerrito’s newest cop displays uncommon manners for company.

King, a German shepherd, stretched leisurely across the rear compartment of Officer Aaron Leone’s patrol car on a rainy night shift, offering only perfunctory barks at a stranger’s approach.

Given the temperament and training of local police dogs, the 2-year-old pup already ranks among the most polite of his kind in western Contra Costa County.

“He’s a super-sweet dog,” said Leone, whose other German shepherd, a pet, may beg to differ. “He’s calm, obedient — a really good dog.”

The department expects similar excellence soon in other parts of the job from King, who started in November after an early life of specialized training in Germany.

El Cerrito’s first police dog gives the city patrol an advantage already enjoyed by police in neighboring cities. They don’t always need a K-9 officer, but when they do, they need one quickly.

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