SAVANNAH, GA. (May 29, 2014): Two Metro officers and their canine partners scored high enough last week at a regional police dog trials in Clayton, NC to earn a trip to the national trials.
Officer Will Fernandez and his partner Faust and Officer Mike Drayton and his partner Ivan earned a return trip to Wilson, NC Oct. 19-24 to attend the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) National Trials.
Fernandez and Faust scored 596 out of a possible 700 score and Drayton and Ivan scored 577 in the regional trials in Wilson last week. Teams had to score at least 490 to pass and at least 560 to earn a berth in the national trials.
The regional trials drew the cream of the crop. Out of 39 teams competing in the trials, 33 earned berths in the finals.
“We are very proud of our canine unit and performances such as these confirm that it is among the best available,” said Metro Police Chief Julie Tolbert. “These canine teams are called upon by our officers at all hours of the day and night to support their efforts and it is both important and gratifying to know they stack up so well. My hat is off to the officers who spend so much time training these dogs.”
Drayton has been a member of the department since 1999. Fernandez joined in 2004. Both canines are Belgian Malinois and were trained by their handler/partners.
“This is a feather in the caps of these K9 teams,” said Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department Canine Unit Sgt. Eric Dukarski. “Very good officers have spent their entire careers without earning a trip to the nationals. This in itself is a credit to these officers, these dogs and this police department..”