The Concord Police Department has had a K-9 unit since 1965. Police dogs are used for narcotics detection, searches and protection work, as well as demonstrations at public events. Read more about CPD's K-9 unit on Concord Patch.
There are currently six K-9 teams in the Concord Police Department, and this is the last team to be profiled in this weekly feature. Today, meet Officer Ollie Sansen and his K-9 Ben. Watch the video above for a demonstration of Ben's drug-sniffing abilities on a car planted with cocaine.
Officer name: Ollie Sansen
K-9 name: Ben
K-9 nickname: "Kitty"
How long you have been a police officer?: Since December 1998
Other PD assignments you have had/have: Field Training Officer, Financial Crimes Detective (AutoTheft and Burglary), Special Enforcement Team (SET), Firearms Instructor, Taser Instructor, MutualAide Mobile Field Force Team, Police Cadet Advisor. Also cross trained as a 911 Dispatcher.
How long you and your K-9 have been working together?: Since August 2009
K-9 breed: Belgian Malinois
K-9 weight: 55 lbs
K-9 country of origin: Netherlands
K-9 command language: Dutch
K-9 titles or certifications: KNPV Certified overseas / California P.O.S.T Certified
K-9 favorite toy: Fire hose tug
K-9 favorite play/off-duty activity: A game of glow-in-the-dark “Chuck it” in the park…
K-9 favorite treat: Pumpkin with his dinner
What is the best thing about being a CPD K-9 handler?: I get to ride with my best friend every day. His loyalty to this job (and to me) shows every time I deploy him in the field. I know that if it came down to it, Ben would lay down his life to protect me, another Officer or any citizen whose life might be in jeopardy. The most rewarding part of this job is seeing Ben’s drive to complete the task at hand, and then being able to reward him for it at the end of each day.
What is the worst thing about being a CPD K-9 handler?: Trying to keep my boots shined and mycar/uniform clean!
What is one thing the public likely doesn't know about Police K-9s and/or the CPD K-9 unit?: For the first 4 years, all CPD K-9 Handlers work our 4-legged partners under a contract. The dogs are City property during this time, although they go home with us each night at the end of our shift. After the 4 year contract is up, it is up to the handler to decide when he/she wants to retire the dog. The handler then has to pay $1 to the City to officially buy the dog after it's retired. Most handlers will work their dog as long as it is physically able to do the job. Typically we retire the dogs when they reach age 9-10 (or when we see a certain level of discomfort in them when they perform the day to day activities).