Police K9 teams show off their skills at Murrieta competition – Press Enterprise

Law enforcement officers and their K9 partners from across the state test their takedown tactics, officer protection and bomb detection skills in a two-day competition hosted by the Murrieta Police Department .

The fifth annual K9 trials, held at Murrieta Mesa High School, began Friday, April 1 with scent searches, including evidence and narcotics searches. The event ends on Saturday, April 2 with building and area searches, obedience, agility and patrol scenarios.

  • Apollo, the dog of California Department of Corrections Officer Josh Diaz, searches for narcotics during a K9 contest at Murrieta Mesa High School on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Foulk, Contributing Photographer)

  • Law enforcement agencies across the state are notified before...

    Law enforcement officers statewide are briefed prior to the start of a K9 contest at Murrieta Mesa High School on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Foulk, Contributing Photographer)

  • Chino Police Officer Jessie Decon raises police tape so...

    Chino Police Officer Jessie Decon lifts police tape so he and his dog, Cyra, can search for evidence during a K9 competition at Murrieta Mesa High School on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Foulk, collaborating photographer)

  • Carlsbad Police Officer Allen Severy watches his dog, Arlo, search...

    Carlsbad Police Officer Allen Severy watches his dog, Arlo, search for evidence during a K9 contest at Murrieta Mesa High School on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Foulk, Contributing Photographer)

  • California Department of Corrections officer Enrique Molina watches his...

    California Department of Corrections officer Enrique Molina watches his dog, Arrow, as a narcotics alert during a K9 contest at Murrieta Mesa High School on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Foulk, Contributing Photographer)

  • Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Austin McGuire holds his dog, Rodger,...

    Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Austin McGuire holds his dog, Rodger, while on a narcotics alert during a K9 competition at Murrieta Mesa High School on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Foulk, collaborating photographer)

  • Clovis Police Department officer Brent Drum, right, instructs the California Department...

    Clovis Police Department officer Brent Drum, right, instructs California Department of Corrections officer Enrique Molina and his dog, Arrow, on narcotics course boundaries during a contest K9 at Murrieta Mesa High School on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Foulk, Contributing Photographer)

  • Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Jessie Decon is about to reward...

    Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Jessie Decon prepares to award her dog, Alvin, during a search for evidence at a K9 contest at Murrieta Mesa High School on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Foulk, collaborating photographer)

  • Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Rafael Casillas follows his dog,...

    Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Rafael Casillas follows his dog, Sky, in search of evidence during a K9 contest at Murrieta Mesa High School on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Foulk, Contributing Photographer)

  • Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Jessie Decon raises police tape to...

    Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Jessie Decon raises police tape to join her dog, Alvin, in searching for evidence during a K9 contest at Murrieta Mesa High School on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Foulk, collaborating photographer)

  • Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Rafael Casillas tells judges that...

    Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Rafael Casillas reports to the judges that his dog, Sky, alerted to evidence during a K9 competition on Friday, April 1, 2022 at Murrieta Mesa High School. (Photo by Andrew Foulk, Contributing Photographer)

The event tests the ability of K9 officers and teams to overcome obstacles and handle real-life scenarios, organizers said. Some exercises require teams to show how well the partners are working together and whether the dogs are following their commands at the right time.

More than 40 teams were expected to participate in the trials, Murrieta K9 officer Aaron Harwick said. Some attendees came from Kern County, Los Angeles International Airport, Carlsbad and the Aguascalientes Police Department in Mexico.

The free contest is open to the public on Saturday, when the dogs will perform apprehension work on the school football pitch. The event benefits the Paws 4 Law Foundation, which supports active and retired K9s.

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