Kodiak Wins Award At Police Canine Competition

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Payson's canine police officer, Kodiak, and his handler, officer Les Barr, beat more than 50 dogs from around the country at a competition in Scottsdale April 17.

Kodiak and Barr placed fourth in the building search competition at the Desert Dog Regional Police K-9 Trials.

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Payson Police Officer Les Barr and his dog, Kodiak, earned fourth-place in building searches at the Desert Dog Regional Police K-9 Trials.

"Tactical building search is a simulated break-in of a business," Barr said. "The suspect says he is not coming out and I send my dog in."

Barr said Kodiak found the suspect quickly and brought him to the ground. Barr then had to shoot at various targets on his way to the dog and the suspect. The team's speed and accuracy were measured against the other dogs and handlers.

Kodiak, a German shepherd, is the Payson Police Department's second dog.

Payson Police Canine Trainer Sgt. Rod Mamero said before his department had a dog, the closest one was either Winslow or Mesa.

"Kodiak is a dual purpose dog," Mamero said. "He is a patrol dog which includes tracking, trailing, suspect apprehension and building searches and he is also trained in narcotics detection."

Barr uses German commands to direct Kodiak to charge a suspect and bite them. Kodiak will then release the bite when Barr instructs him to.

Barr and Kodiak have been partners for six years and during that time, Kodiak has won several awards, many in narcotics detection.

"Kodiak has won about nine different awards," Barr said. "He has quite a collection."

Mamero said Kodiak has beaten some stiff competitors from different law enforcement agencies and even the United States military.

"Kodiak has placed in every competition he has competed in," Mamero said. "It's quite an achievement because in some of the canine trials, he is competing with dogs from all over the world. It's impressive."

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