JAMESTOWN – Members of the Jamestown community are lending a hand to law enforcement K-9 units by helping them train for real world scenarios.
On Tuesday, police K-9s and their handlers from Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties met at the Hartley Resale Center lot on Washington Street in Jamestown to brush up on their search skills.
Deputy Jason Beichner, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office Senior K-9 Handler, says the dogs are trained to find explosives or narcotics that deputies hide inside vehicles at the lot.
“We just try to make it as real life as possible,” said Beichner. “We put people in the cars to make it as realistic as possible and deploy the dogs as we would on a normal traffic stop or any scenario that we would get.”
Deputy Beichner explained that when working in the field the dogs don’t always get a chance to be rewarded, so the weekly training session is an opportunity to show appreciation for their hard work.
Additionally, Deputy Beichner says bringing dogs and handlers from various departments together makes it easier for the units to work together in the field.
“So, we know the ins and outs of each dog, and each handler’s abilities and the downfalls of each dog,” explained Deputy Beichner. “When we train together, we can find whose dog is going to be most accurate and most able to provide out on the street.”
The Deputy says another important reason for the training is to get the dogs familiarized with the community and the community conformable with the dogs.
“They have a job to do and they are going to do it to the best of their ability,” said Deputy Beichner. “Sometimes that is a scary process, but the dogs are very sociable, very decent, and they work fantastic in pretty much any opportunity they are given.”
The City of Jamestown Police Department, Lakewood-Busti Police Department and Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Units joined Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office K-9s for the training.
Deputy Beichner thanked the car dealership for allowing the use of their parking lot and vehicles.
He says his team is always looking for new places to train. Community members who are interested in loaning the department a vacant house property, wooded area or open space are asked to call them at (716) 753-4900.
WNYNewsNow reporter Justin Gould and Craig McFadden contributed to this report.