The Red Oak PD’s New Bandit

german shepherd

RED OAK – Anytime a city can have a K-9 team, it is a good day.

The Red Oak Police Department recently welcomed its newest Officer, K9 Bandit to the team.

Red Oak PD had two K9s in the past, both retired.

Bandit, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois is replacing K9 Lintz (a female) who retired due to age and health considerations, but currently still resides with her handler, Officer Pettit.

Bandit will also be working with Officer Pettit who has been with Red Oak PD for seven years and served in the Air Force as a K9 Handler.

“Officer Pettit has handled for over four years now for the department and is a former Air Force Security Forces K9 handler,” Red Oak Police Chief Garland Wolf said. “So he possesses the appropriate skills to handle and train a police service dog.”

Bandit has been trained in tracking, apprehension, and narcotics detection and Wolf explained, “Within a week of K9 Bandit being with the Red Oak Police Department he was able to apprehend a felon who ran from officers on foot, tracking him over 1,000 yards into a heavily wooded area.”

Police Service Dog K9 Bandit was acquired from Belgium by Sector K9 Foundation after being sourced from an overseas vendor. He was evaluated and tested for French Ring Sport, which is a protection dog sport for police service dogs. This testing also includes undergoing exercises in both obedience and protection and there is an initial temperament test that shows if the dog has the correct mind and body to work through the rest of the sport.

Bandit also went through a series of other tests scoring his sociability and aptitude for work.

Wolf said the department chose a Belgian Malinois because this breed is smart, confident, and a versatile breed with a robust service life and willingness to please.

“The Belgian Malinois is a world-class worker who forges an unbreakable bond with his human partner,” Wolf explained. “To deny a Malinois activity and the pleasure of your company is to deprive him of his very reasons for being. Belgian Malinois are squarely built, proud, and alert herders standing 22 to 26 inches. Strong and well-muscled, but more elegant than bulky. Simply stated the Belgian Malinois is a hard-working loyal partner.”

Pettit noted “I have worked several different breeds of dogs while serving as a police K9 handler and they all had their pros and cons, but the Malinois was a hard worker that always wanted to please and do a good job for its handler/partner.”

A K9 certainly improves the strength of any police department and Wolf added “Having a K9 in the department is a force multiplier and they serve in a myriad of missions to include search and rescue, narcotics detection, and apprehending fleeing violent subjects. It reduces time spent searching and trying to locate suspects or contraband.”

He said being a former K9 handler himself he can speak directly to the value a K9 brings to performing the job and serving a community.

“When used correctly a K9 reduces or prevents unnecessary wasted time, is more efficient and can help bridge gaps within the community. I mean who doesn’t like dogs? The K9 is a great conversation starter with members of the community, and it is proven where a K9 is deployed they can have an immediate impact in reducing crime,” Wolf said.

The Red Oak K9 team is also available for mutual aid responses as requested from other agencies generally for violent felonies where a track or apprehension is needed. The team will also help other agencies conduct narcotic searches and searches for lost persons such as missing elderly or children.

“The Red Oak Police Department received funding within our budget, and we are appreciative to have the ability to provide this service to our community,” Wolf concluded.


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