Cocoa Police Department’s Space Coast Police K9 Competition to Host First International Competitors
By Yvonne Martinez, Cocoa Police Department // October 9, 2019
The competition will offer a rare opportunity for the public to see police canine teams in action
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – The second annual Space Coast Police K9 Competition will play host to its first international competitors in an event that will take place on Saturday, October 12 at Cocoa High School’s Dick Blake Stadium.
More than 20 military and police K9 teams, including a team from the Royal Danish Air Force, will take the field starting at 1 p.m.
The teams will navigate an obstacle course designed to test their skills and abilities and how well they work with their handlers. The event’s main sponsors are the Brevard Kennel Club and Atlantic Development of Cocoa.
The competition will offer a rare opportunity for the public to see police canine teams in action as they navigate 12 obstacles that simulate a variety of disciplines including scent detection, hurdles, jumping through windows, tunnels, and more.
The teams will also compete in a “Hard Dog and Fast Dog” competition, which will test the dog’s speed and apprehension skills.
“What we are hoping to do is showcase the exceptional skills, incredible discipline and the unique bonds these dogs and their handlers have that many citizens would never get a chance to otherwise see,” said Officer Chris Hattaway who is coordinating the event.
“The event is free for the public to come to watch. It’s going to be a fun time and we hope everyone comes out to see us.”
K9 teams receive the most amount of training of all the disciplines in police patrol work.
The basic patrol canine school is 480 hours. This is where the teams learn obedience control, apprehension work and suspect search skills. The canine team may also receive an additional 160 hours, at minimum, for detection training.
This is where the dog is trained to identify and locate the odors of illegal drugs, explosive and/or cadavers.
“We are so excited to be sponsoring this event for the Space Coast,” said Brenda Warner, a member of the Brevard Kennel Club.
“It is amazing to see what these police dogs can do. I’m confident the people who come to this event will have a new appreciation for how much these canines contribute to the job and the safety of our police officers and the communities they serve.”
The event will also offer a unique vendor expo, food and beverages for purchase from local vendors, raffle prizes, and a special non-competitive K9 demonstration featuring a K9 deployment from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit.
Money raised from the sale of t-shirts and raffle tickets will benefit Cocoa Community First, a non-profit supporting all the youth and community outreach programs of the Cocoa Police Department.
To learn more about the event CLICK HERE.
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