The Alameda Police Department K9 Program was established in 1980, and due to its success, has been permanently implemented into the Patrol Division. Currently, the Department has two K9 teams consisting of Officer Brian Foster and his Police Service Dog (PSD) "Gero" (pronounced "Jeer-Oh") and Officer Vanessa Dubon and her PSD "Argo". Gero is a mix of the German Shepard and Belgian Malinois breeds and Argo is a German Shepherd from Slovakia.
Before the PSD and officer can begin their patrol assignments, they must go through a rigorous canine handler course and pass a certification process to ensure they meet the requirements set forth by the California P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer Standards and Training). After the team is certified, they will then complete weekly training sessions and annual certifications to ensure the team maintains their skills. K-9 teams are certified for dual purpose work, which includes patrol tactics and narcotic detection. Patrol tactics consist of area searches, building searches, tracking, article searches, handler protection, and physical apprehension. Narcotic detection includes searching for all narcotic substances.
Officer Foster and PSD Gero work the swing shift, so you may see them patrolling around Alameda at night. Remember, "Gero" is a working dog, so never approach him unless his partner, Officer Foster, is around to tell him it is okay to take a break from his duties.
Officer Dubon and PSD Argo are the newest members of the Alameda Police K9 Unit. Officer Dubon and PSD Argo made a perfect match when they met January 6, 2014. After successfully completing the canine handler course, Officer Dubon and PSD Argo began working patrol on the swing shift as well. Officer Dubon is excited to be working with PSD Argo out on patrol and helping out the community.
If you have any questions about the K9 program, please email the K9 Supervisor, Sgt. Darin Tsujimoto- firstname.lastname@example.org