EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Five K-9 teams made the trip from Evansville to Valdosta, Georgia to compete in the 2022 USPCA National Trials lately, many of which saw very good results.

K-9 Taro follows alongside his handler, Officer J Reidford, as he anxiously awaits the next command during Obedience. (Courtesy: EPD)

Officers say the K-9 teams competed in Obedience, Agility, Suspect Search, Evidence Search and Apprehension Work against the very best in the country.

In the Obedience category, teams are tested off lead in phases of walking, distance and heeling. For Agility, K-9s must surmount obstacles that relate to real-life patrol situations.

Teams must search and locate a suspect hiding in one of six boxes by only the use of the K-9’s nose during Suspect Search. Evidence Search has K-9s searching and finding a matchbook and a credit card in a 30’ x 30’ square of tall grass in under 3 minutes.

Teams are tested in three phases during Apprehension Work. These include false start, recall and apprehension. There’s also Apprehension with Gunfire. Handlers send their K-9 to apprehend the decoy that has fired two blank rounds, verbally ‘out’ their K-9 and complete a pat down of the decoy. During the pat down, the handler is assaulted by the decoy and the K-9 re-engages the decoy. The handler then verbally ‘outs’ their K-9 again.

The Evansville Police Department says Officer J Reidford and his partner, K-9 Taro, placed 17th overall and 4th in combined search work. Their team along with Sgt. C Offerman and K-9 Cash had perfect scores on Evidence Search. Officer J Montgomery and K-9 Doc was less than one point from a perfect Suspect Search, we’re told.