Not bad for a couple of donated dogs!

By Sergeant Wayne Conrad | Statewide Coordinator for CDCR’s K9 Program
Correctional Officer Robert Binder and his dog, Storm, from the Correctional Training Facility, Soledad, and Correctional Officer Chris Salopek and his dog, Taser, from Salinas Valley State Prison placed highly among the 27 law enforcement K-9 teams competing in the Manteca Police Department K-9 Trials in April.

As part of the narcotic-detection portion of the trials, judges concealed marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine inside vehicles, buildings and in outside areas. Each K-9 team was judged not only on how many of the hidden drugs were located, but also how quickly.

Binder and Storm took first place in the vehicle searches and second place overall.  Salopek and Taser came in fourth overall.  Not bad for a couple of donated dogs!

Storm just recently graduated from basic narcotic-detection training. The 1-year-old Belgian Malinois was donated to CDCR by Stephanie O’Brian and Jeremy Tamales of K-9 Behavior Services in Fillmore.  They own and operate the business and specialize in breeding and training working quality Belgian Malinois. To date, they have donated six dogs to the department.

Taser is a 2-year-old German shepherd that has been in service for about a year.  Taser is cross-trained to detect not only narcotics, but also cell phones and tobacco. Taser was donated by Nancy Rynard, owner and operator of Westwood Kennels in Ohio, which specializes in breeding and training German shepherds for law enforcement agencies.  She heard about CDCR’s program and donated Taser and his brother Max to the department.  Max is assigned to Sgt. Jeremy Packard at Folsom State Prison.

Storm and Taser will be competing in upcoming K-9 trials in Modesto and in Santa Rosa.