Newport News Police Department trains new K-9 officers

NEWPORT NEWS, Va.- The Newport News Police Department has four new members on their team.

They are furry and have four legs, but don't mistake them for your average puppy.

This isn't your typical puppy training class.

"They will train to apprehend suspects, to do building searches, evidence searches, finding the bad guys I guess would be the best way to put it," said K-9 Sergeant Michael Covey.

Covey says the selection process is a personal one.

Each handler chose the K-9 that will become their closest co-worker.

Still just puppies, Jack, Taz, Chaos and Kane will one day go from gym training to crime scene action.

"They are tough looking police dogs; they have a lot of bark and a lot of bite. But at the same time, these handlers can bend down and give them a kiss, they can praise them up and love on them," Covey said

Right now, the canines and their handlers are working on bonding.

With each command that they execute, they are given praise or a reward.

"My dog is a Dutch Shepherd; his name is Chaos," said Officer Clark Carter.

New to the unit, Carter says he connected with chaos right away.

"Right now, we are working on obedience things like getting him to heel and walk next to me. Getting him to sit, lay down, and more importantly, to come back when he runs off," Carter said.

For Officer Nicholas Jefferson, joining the K-9 unit has been a lifelong dream.

Like every officer in uniform, the K-9s face the risk of not coming home.

"We look at these dogs as a human, and we don't want to put these dogs in any danger if we can help it. We do our best to keep them safe as we can. They are our partners for life," said Jefferson.

This group of K-9s are in their third week of training.

They have about four more months before they will be ready to start work.

Related:

Police in Newport News welcome new class of K-9s to the force