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Park Pals learn a few tricks from Federal Way police dogs

Federal Way K-9 officers met with Park Pals on July 25. - Courtesy photo
Federal Way K-9 officers met with Park Pals on July 25.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

By JoAnn Hugill, President, Park Pals in Federal Way

Federal Way police officers Kurt Schwan, Scott Orta and Matt Novak with their K-9 Unit dogs Roscoe, Fax and Caleb were invited to do a demonstration for the off-leash dog park, French Lake Park, on July 25.

Park Pals asked Lakehaven Utility District if we could used their amphitheater. Spectators sat in the shade as they watched the officers and their K9 partners show us what they do. The general public doesn't get to see the dogs in action, mostly because we are usually the good guys, but the bad guys get to see them up close and personal. After watching Fax chase one of the officers, I wouldn't want to be the bad guy. Fax is so fast and weighs 85 pounds, but when he jumps to get you, it is a very powerful 85 pounds of hard force. When Roscoe tracks the bad guy, he hits with hard force also. The bad guys don't stand a chance. When Caleb looks for drugs, and he finds them, he lets you know. His reward is to play with the ball, and he loves the ball. The dogs do their job at 120 percent plus. They love their job and their owners. Federal Way should be very proud of their fearless K-9s and their owners. They get the bad guys and at the same time risk their lives to help keep the general public safe.

There were about 25 spectators, and we were all enthralled to see the K9s work. We were able to pet one of the K-9s and play catch with the ball. The dogs are very well trained and loved. They put a lot of hours in training, they want the dogs to be on top of their game at all times. The dogs get to go home every day with their owners and their families. They are more than just police dogs to these officers — they are part of their family. When the dogs retire at the age of around 10 years, the officers are allowed to buy the dogs from the city.

The Valley Retired Police Dog Association is an organization of current and retired police K-9 handlers from the South King County area. The goal of this association is to financially support police service dogs in their retirement years. The Valley Retired Police Dog Association has T-shirts for sale, baseball hats, will soon have 2010 calendars and these proceeds go into the fund. These items can be purchased at the Federal Way Police Department. To learn more, e-mail kurt.schwan@cityoffederalway.com or call (253) 835-6899.

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