Police dogs display skills in Jackson County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Police dogs display skills in Jackson County

Even though these K9s are ferocious in the field, most of these animals also visit classrooms, teaching children about law enforcement. (Photo source: WLOX) Even though these K9s are ferocious in the field, most of these animals also visit classrooms, teaching children about law enforcement. (Photo source: WLOX)
Police dogs from across the state showed off their skills at a training event in Pascagoula on Friday. (Photo source: WLOX) Police dogs from across the state showed off their skills at a training event in Pascagoula on Friday. (Photo source: WLOX)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Their bites are definitely worse than their barks. Police dogs from across the state showed off their skills at a training event in Pascagoula on Friday.

One of the more intense trials was the suspect apprehension drill.

A frigid morning gave the K9 officers a little more pep in their step. The dogs, on the other hand, didn't need any extra incentive.

“The canines are always excited, it seems like. Especially out here in this cool weather, we're all cold, but they're just really getting in some good training and some good time. They can do a better job for the folks they serve out in their own communities,” said Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell.

Getting the dogs to pursue the man with the padded arm is the easy part. The bigger challenge is getting the dog to stop in mid-pursuit.

“This is all a game for the dogs. It's very fun for the dogs. They like it. Probably the most thing my dog likes is apprehension, but he's also trained to do narcotics work as well as tracking and evidence recovery,” said K9 officer Sgt. Richard Palmer.

Palmer's dog, Tino, is a Belgian Malinois, the breed preferred by many law enforcement agencies because of their endurance and training skills.

Even though these K9s are ferocious in the field, most of these animals also visit classrooms, teaching children about law enforcement.

“When I was in third grade in New Orleans, LA, the first time I saw a K9 and a K9 handler, I decided right then that's what I wanted to do,” said Palmer.

The training is ongoing with a K9 officer and his animal, and the two develop a very close bond.

“The dog lives with them. They're a part of their family. They're at their house, and you know everywhere they go, their dog is a part of their life,” said Ezell.

A good police dog can cost up to $15,000 dollars, but their skills are invaluable.

“They've tracked down bank robbers and kidnappers. They just play such an important role to the department,” said Ezell.

Petting one in a classroom would be so much better than meeting one like this in the field.

Jackson County not only hosted this year's dog trials, but one of its K9 teams won top honors. Tim Prochilo and his dog, Aragon, won top patrol dog, top patrol team and best overall obedience and apprehension.

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