SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As the community continues to mourn the loss of Sir, the Police K-9 killed in the line of duty, during a stand-off last week.
ABC 10News visited the training area for SDPD's K-9 unit, talking to the officers about what makes this unit special.
For teams like Hondo and his training, exercises like this are more than just drills. It’s also part of their bonding time, which is a crucial element in keeping SDPD’s K-9 unit as tight as it is.
San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit, walks us through the close relationship K-9s have with their handlers and why this makes the loss of Sir, that much more difficult for his handler.
Chief Nisleit says, “They're more than dogs to their teammates, they go home with them they embed them with their family. The handler is feeling the loss like we all are. And it will take time.”
Right now, SDPD has 33 K-9 teams, Handler Sgt. Luis Carbajal talks about the important role Police Dogs play, in an effort to de-escalate situations that can quickly become dangerous.
Carbajal says, “Being able to use police dogs to search for suspects hidden in canyons rooms and cars instead of having officers encounter subjects face to face. Subjects see these police dogs and they just give up they are afraid of police dogs and they're afraid of getting bit.”
And as the department tries to move forward, dealing with the loss of Sir, Chief Nisleit says, the K-9 unit will continue operating as it has adding he’s not planning to make any changes to protocol in light of this tragedy. He’s not planning to make any changes to the protocol in light of this tragedy.
Nisleit says, “ The likelihood that sir saved an officer’s life is high. It’s sad this happened. But this was an armed individual already involved in a shooting and not compliant that the dog helped solve.”
SDPD will be holding a memorial service for Sir, in which his name will be added to this memorial.