Man’s best friend is a vital asset to the law enforcement community. K-9 officers use their dogs to help with foot chases, finding contraband and they can even sniff out bombs. But the officers and the dogs must continually train to keep their skills sharp. Certifications can expire on K-9 units, but the chance for re-certification is going on in Raleigh County.
The firing range and surrounding property for the Beckley Police department is being transformed into a proving ground of sorts. It is where K-9 officers from across West Virginia and three other states have come to prove that their animals still have what it takes to continue service as K-9 units. Re-certification is taking place at this annual event, where handler and dog get real-world tests.
“We have real live shooting, bring the dogs into that. We have search areas set up for all the dogs,” said Will Reynolds, a K-9 officer with the Beckley Police Department.