Dino CollageSMALLLLLLLLLLThe Benton Police Department has a new officer joining the force who has an exceptional nose, a passion for chewing on tennis balls, and is ready to take a bite out of crime. Dino is an 18-month-old Belgian Malinois who has spent 8-weeks of training with the Little Rock K-9 Academy to become a superb quality Police Patrol and Narcotic Detector Dog.

“Dino is a dual purpose dog,” said Little Rock K-9 Academy Public Information Officer/Instructor Clay Smith. “Traditionally people think of police dogs as narcotics dogs, but Dino is also trained for the patrol aspect, which is for catching bad guys, locating bad guys hiding in buildings or the woods. He’s able to track suspects down and alert their position to the handler.”

Dino is assigned to Detective Kyle Ellison and they are assigned to the Special Investigations Unit and the Benton Interstate Criminal Enforcement Patrol (BICEP) unit. Dino and Det. Ellison recently completed their certifications at the Little Rock K-9 Academy for narcotics detection and patrol. The training for Dino and Det. Ellison was funded from the Federal Drug Asset Seized Fund.

“I was introduced to K-9 Dino on the first day of the course, along with a wealth of knowledge offered by Tony Smith and his staff at the Little Rock K-9 Academy,” Det. Ellison said. “I was taught how to read and understand Dino and how to properly communicate with Dino, so that we could become a successful team. The intelligence, work drive, discipline and loyalty Dino has shown to me has been very impressive.”

Smith said that Dino, like all other K-9s, are first trained solo and later assigned a handler. He said the handler also attends a class to learn how to work with the K-9. Smith said the handler learns the “legality of when you can and cannot utilize the dog, all the fourth amendment implications for the narcotic searches and how that works, and then the fourth amendment implications for patrol searches or suspect apprehensions, along with handler protection.”

“Their nose is what makes them such a valuable tool for us,” Smith said. “The dogs in the training program, they were bred and raised for this purpose, so they don’t get that bond until they make it with the handler, and then they spend every day, all day at work and home together. So that’s really when the bond develops with them.”

For more information about the Little Rock K-9 Academy, visit www.lrk9.com.

To report incidents call the BNPD at (501) 776-5948 or (501) 315-TIPS. Individuals also may send anonymous information to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to www.crimereports.com to leave a tip. A crime tip can also be submitted via the official Benton Police Department app found on iTunes and Google Play.
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