Kodiak, the Payson Police Department's police dog, demonstrated not only his prowess in narcotics detection, he also shined in the tactical obedience competition last weekend in Tucson, taking a second-place trophy in both divisions.
The Payson Police K-9 was one of more than 50 dogs competing in the Tucson Area Police K-9 Trials. The annual trials saw police dogs from many agencies competing including dogs from Las Vegas Metro, UofA, Davis Monthan Air Force Base and the Department of Corrections.
Officer Les Barr, Kodiak's handler, was ecstatic over his young dog's performance in the tactical portion of the competition.
"(Kodiak) had done so poorly in the obstacle course competition that the judge told me I could pull him out of the tactical," Barr said. "Kodiak did not think much of the teeter totter."
Barr, however, opted to have Kodiak compete in the tactical portion, knowing his obedience skills were good. Kodiak was rewarded for his hard work at the banquet following the competition.
"You never know what your scores are or how you did against the other dogs until you get to the banquet," Barr said. "It was great to get two trophies."
A U.S. Border Patrol dog that is trained strictly for drug detection took first place in the narcotics detection division.
Kodiak, on the other hand, is cross trained in narcotics and patrol. The patrol training includes locating suspects in buildings, tracking, area searches, handler protection and crowd control.
In the obedience portion, Kodiak scored 98 out of 100 points, with the first-place dog scoring 99.
In addition to being Kodiak's "partner," Barr teaches D.A.R.E. and is assigned to the department's special response team. He also conducts training on the proper use of impact weapons.
When Kodiak is not working his shift, he checks off duty and becomes the family dog for the Barrs, playing with Les' four sons.