K9 Cabo new­est of­fi­cer

■ The 14-month-old Bel­gian Mali­nois is trained to find drugs and peo­ple.

The Weekly Vista - - Front Page - KEITH BRYANT kbryant@nwadg.com

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.

Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista

Of­fi­cer Travis Tram­mell, left, stands with the Bella Vista Po­lice Depart­ment’s new K9 unit, Cabo.

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