Police department gets another K-9

Police department gets another K-9

Police department gets another K-9

The Winnemucca Police Department’s newest recruit is a 4-year-old female Belgian Malinois named Freyja, who comes as a transfer from the Vacaville Police Department in California. 

The K-9 will be provided to WPD at no cost as the dog needed a new home due to no fault of her own. 

Winnemucca City Council members unanimously approved the proposal to receive the dog. 

Winnemucca Police Department Officer Aaron Brown has been selected by the WPD to be its new K-9 handler for Freyja, who is already trained and certified as a single purpose narcotics detection dog. 

Brown is a field training officer who has been with the department for approximately four years and had recently expressed interest in becoming a handler and has been working with K-9 Polly and WPD Officer Jimmi Santos. 

Brown will be responsible for ensuring that Freyja’s certifications are kept up to date. 

Polly came to the department from a kennel in southern California last year and in her time with the PD she has completed 22 indications of narcotics present, which resulted in 22 drug seizures and 13 arrests, said WPD Deputy Chief Mike Rangel. 

K-9 Polly and Santos just celebrated a year of working together last Saturday. 

The narcotics detection K-9s are trained to indicate the presence of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, etc. but not marijuana as it is now legal in the state. 

Since August 2020, Polly has helped in the seizure of 239 grams of drugs, the same total for 2019 without a K-9 was 30 grams. 

WPD officials said that the recent increase in crimes observed around Winnemucca are believed to mostly related to drugs, especially burglaries. 

WPD Chief Dave Garrison said a local grocery store had 35 firearms stolen, the most he has seen in his career in an incident such as this. 

“They’re stealing property to sell it to get drugs,” said Garrison. 

The new K-9 officer would normally be a $10,000-$15,000 investment, as well as ongoing care and certifications. 

Garrison said the K-9 will not come with a fee and the equipment needed to outfit a vehicle for the purpose has been donated, so the only impact to the police department budget is a half hour of overtime per day for the handler, approximately $8,000 annually. 

Garrison said that several agencies around the community have partnered with K-9 Polly and Santos to identify and seize narcotics in the community. 

Freyja is expected to join her handler and partner at the WPD in the coming weeks and will take some time to become acquainted with each other and certified before working together on cases. 

Freyja will live with Brown and join a corgi and golden retriever at home. 

“This has always just been an interest to me and just watching firsthand with Jimmi the last few months and seeing the things that we’re capable of when we have that K-9 it can lead into so many other things,” said Brown.