RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Barks and Badges is set to kick off next week. The community event supports Washoe County K9 partners and the Washoe County Sheriff's Office.
On Wednesday, KOLO 8 News Now got a behind the scenes look at the special training Washoe County's SWAT and their K9's undergo out in the field.
K9's are a valuable asset to the Special Weapons and Tactics Team in Washoe County.
SWAT Lt. Phil Jones calls the K9's a force multiplier.
"Our dogs they do a lot of things people never see, they work at night, they find lost people," said Lt. Jones. "They find evidence recoveries and recently we were involved in a homicide with some guns and the dogs."
Now the community can get a chance to meet the K9's and the operative team behind them.
"Its our little way to show off two things dogs and K9 partners," added Lt. Jones. "They're the biggest 501c for all our police dogs. They raise money for all sorts of things like vests, drones and all sorts of equipment."
Thanks to K9 partners, Washoe County Sheriff's Office obtained two dogs this year.
Lt. Jones said its upwards of $25,000 to purchase the dog and provide the training, And now they have another ally in the sky--a drone.
"A lot of people don't understand that we don't send our dogs out to armed suspects," said Lt. Jones. "They don't have disposable thumbs so they can't defend themselves. So we always send out a drone first when we can to make sure the suspect isn't armed and to give them time to give up. "
If they don't give up, a K9 does the job of getting the suspect and much more.
"Dogs are different than humans, once you pull a trigger on a weapon that bullet's gone," said Lt. Jones. "A dog, you can send it and then bring it back so it gives us more options and it's a less lethal option for the public."
Barks and Badges kicks off Saturday, October 12th at 10 am at Bartley Ranch Park.
Washoe County K9 Partners is a local non profit to help raise the money and pay for the K9's needs.
There will be family activities, vendors, food and much more at the event.
Copyright KOLO-TV 2019