K9 Cabo newest officer
■ The 14-month-old Belgian Malinois is trained to find drugs and people.
The Bella Vista Police Department has a new K9 and handler, Cabo and officer Travis Trammell, respectively.
Capt. Tim Cook said that a K9 is an excellent tool for the department. “It’s a great deterrent,” he said. Cook said that the department had a K9 unit in the 1990s, but the dog retired in 2000. They went without a dog until around 2009, he said, when they brought in police dog Camo.
Camo had to retire because of cataracts last fall, and the department started looking for a new dog and handler.
Trammell was chosen, and the department ended up with Cabo, a 14-monthold Belgian Malinois, who now lives with Trammell.
Trammell said he spent two weeks in Central Arkansas training as a K9 handler and familiarizing himself with Cabo. He applied for the role, he said, because he wanted to take on more responsibility with the department.
“The training was a lot more detailed,” he said. “There was a lot more to it than I realized.”
In addition to working with the dog in the field, he said, he learned first aid and general health care for his canine co-worker.
Cabo, he said, is fully ready for duty, even while he continues to grow up. He’s capable of searching for drugs, Trammell said, and he’s an excellent tracker, able to find things a human officer might never be able to. The dog would be very capable of finding someone on the run, he said, or a lost child.
Having a K9, he said, also helps with the department’s image. Having the dog, he said, may help Bella Vistans sleep a little easier, and he’s often a pleasant sight.
The training also stressed that the dog isn’t just another tool, he said. Cabo is essentially another officer, and he has his own needs.
“I let him play, let him be a dog,” Trammell said.
“We’re still learning to trust each other.”
While one might expect a police dog to be aggressive, he said, Cabo has proven to be very social.
While Cabo is happy to play and run around the
yard, Trammell said, or even hang out with his handler’s daughter, he’s all business once he gets to work.
His demeanor shifts and becomes a bit more serious, Trammell said, and his
focus is entirely on getting things done.
“He knows that I’m the handler, so even when other people are around he doesn’t pay as much attention to them,” he said.
Officer Travis Trammell, left, stands with the Bella Vista Police Department’s new K9 unit, Cabo.