Meet K9 Patrick. He and his partner Officer Seth Wheeler of the CPD visited the Paradise Valley Club. The two have worked together for a few years.
“He lives with us and goes everywhere with us, but he is NOT my pet. He is a working dog and when it’s time to work, he takes it very seriously,” said Officer Wheeler.
K9 Patrick is a specially trained Belgian Malinois. He knows three different languages and can sniff out four different types of drugs.
In a demonstration at the Club, with K9 Patrick and Officer Wheeler out of the room, Officer Carl Krugler hid a sample odor in a bookshelf. Upon return to the room, the dog was able to locate the odor within 13 seconds. A trick the kids thought was pretty impressive.
Even more eye-opening was the next demonstration. One officer pulled on a thick suit made out of jute playing the role of the “bad guy.” At his partner’s command, K9 Patrick took off in a dead sprint to apprehend the “bad guy.” And by “apprehend” we mean, aggressive lunging, loud barking, and forceful biting. The dog only backing off when he was instructed to do so.
“He knows it’s time to work and he becomes very protective. His purpose is to keep the officer safe and is always looking for threats.”
Full of questions, the kids fire them one after another at the officers. They want to know what’s on Officer Wheeler’s belt. They are curious about tasers. (Officer Wheeler doesn’t wear one). They want to see his handcuffs. What does the dog eat. One even had the courage to ask “Do you guys really eat donuts all the time?” Wheeler’s answer “who doesn’t eat donuts all the time?”
For the Club kids, it’s an opportunity to see the role of a dog in a police setting and to give them a positive experience with police officers.
“We want kids to become integral part of the community. We like to show them the different people that work in the community and expose them to the roles they each play,” said Josh McDonald, youth development professional, BGCCW.
As 11 year old Dexter shares with the officers, “I’ve always wanted to be a police officer,” visits like this can launch a dream and a potential career path for these kids.
1701 E "K" St.
Casper, WY 82601
Club number: 307.234.2456
Program Support: 307.235.4079