Kids’ delighted faces show
who the rock stars are at SPPD K9 Dinner

May 07, 2014
Santa Paula News

You could tell by the delighted look on the faces of dozens of kids just who the rock stars were at the 5th Annual SPPD K9 Spaghetti Dinner

The dinner, held April 30 at the Community Center, had more than 200 attendees and benefited the Santa Paula Police & Fire Foundation’s K9 Program.

Retiring SPPD K9 Chevy was honored at the dinner, as was K9s Zak and Hozy, handled respectively by Sgt. Scott Varner, Senior Officers Larry Johnson and Randy Haumann. 

The event also memorialized late K9s Evan (partner to SPPD Sgt. Jimmy Fogata), Rex (partnered with former SPPD Sgt. Ryan Smith) and Jack (partner to Detective John Coffelt), all who passed since last year’s dinner.

Following the dinner and presentations the celebration of all things canine moved into the parking lot where the officers put their dogs through their paces primarily chasing down and detaining trainer Daniel Inglis, protected from dog bites by special suiting.

Those in the audience also learned that K9 vehicles have remote controlled doors enabled when an officer presses a button on his belt to release the dog if needed.

And the dogs come out swinging and are swung as demonstrated by a K9 whose bite on the special padded sleeve worn by Inglis never loosened even as the dog was propelled 360 degrees.

The crowd was told that unlike a Taser charge or bullet, the dog is one of the only tools officers can call back once it has been deployed. 

Chevy got to come out of retirement briefly to join in the chase and he was praised in German by Varner, whose family the dog continues to live with.

Varner noted, “He’s been out of work for awhile,” which could account for Chevy’s reluctance to let go of Inglis’ protective sleeve during the demonstration.

When the show ended kids swarmed the dogs and handlers: the former happily accepted pats and hugs and the latter had Sharpies at the ready to autograph the collages that showed SPPD dogs and handlers, prized mementos for the kids.

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