Exeter takes top awards at Sierra K9 Trials

The Exeter Police Department has always known they have some of the best K9 units in the County. And now they have the hardware to prove it.

All three Exeter K-9 teams finished in the top five of their fields in the 30th annual Sierra K-9 Trials May 8-9 at Plaza Park Raceway in Visalia. Officer Josh Lowry and Aries, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, finished first in the Novice Division, first in Protection, second in Building Narcotic Search, second in Vehicle Narcotic Search, third place in Suspect Box Search and fifth in Agility. Sgt. Brett Inglehart and Abel, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, took first in Suspect Building Search and the Agitators Choice Award. Officer Mark Durkee and Meeka, a 3-year-old German Shepherd, placed 5th overall in the Novice Division.

“To say I am proud of them is an understatement,” Exeter Police Chief Cliff Bush said.

Most of the awards were from a field of 18 dogs separated between novice and the open division, for K-9 units which have competed in more than two trials. This is a competition between trained law enforcement K-9 dogs used to apprehend criminals, detect narcotics and locate evidence. The competition consists of Narcotic Detection, Evidence Detection, Area Search, Obedience, Agility, and Protection. Several California law enforcement agencies come to compete in this competition every year.

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department had four K-9 teams compete. They did exceptionally well taking home 13 awards including the Top Team award over the Visalia Police Department in team points winning back the Rival Team trophy which was won last year by the Visalia Police Department.

Deputy Doug Burch and Daisy earned the most points of all competitors. They took first in the Agility, second in Area Search, fifth in Protection and fifth in Building Search. Deputy Joe England and Rosco placed first in the overall Open Class Division, second in Obedience, second in Agility and third in Protection. Deputy Garrett Grisbach and Thunder placed second overall in the Novice Division and second in Building Search.

“The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department is very proud of these Deputies and their K-9’s. They train very hard to be the best and provide good quality service to the citizens of Tulare County,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a released statement.

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