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Abilene Teachers FCU: Finding the Right Dog for the Job
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 6:55 AM

Abilene Teachers FCU Check Presentation

Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union announced today that they are partnering with the Abilene Police Foundation to obtain a new K9 officer for the Abilene Police Department. Their gift was announced Thursday during a press conference at the APD Training Center. The APD unexpectedly lost one of their dogs, Tex, earlier this month, and the donation will allow the K9 division to return to full strength.

James Boyd, CEO and president of Abilene Teachers FCU, remarked, “We work with the Abilene Police Department on an ongoing basis. It is an honor to support them with a four-legged partner to further their goal of serving those whom they protect.”

The Abilene K9 unit was formed in 1996 and consists of four dogs on patrol and one in the drug enforcement unit. Police dogs receive extensive and specialized training before they begin work in the field. In addition to being experts at basic obedience training, they must also demonstrate agility and endurance plus a keen sense of smell. Handlers look for dogs that are intelligent, aggressive, strong, calm, and not easily distracted.

Though it is not known from where the new K9 will come, many police dogs working in the United States receive their initial training in Europe. The European breeding standards are strict, and their police dog academies are internationally renowned. Dogs learn commands in the native language of the country in which they are first trained. Their American police handlers then memorize the necessary foreign phrases in order to manage their dogs. Tica, Abilene’s newest K9 introduced on Feb. 9, understands commands in Dutch.  

dog with police officerdog with police officer

Many dog breeds have been successful as K9 officers. The most recognizable is the German Shepherd. Other popular breeds are Belgian Malinois, Rottweilers, Labrador Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, and Giant Schnauzers. Smaller dogs with excellent noses, such as Beagles, Basset Hounds, and spaniels are used in specialized police work. The Abilene Police Department will perform a national search for their new dog, and they hope to have him/her working by early summer.

Abilene Teachers FCU is a local, member-owned financial cooperative that serves residents of a 16-county area in the Big Country. It was established by AISD educators in 1950 and currently handles the financial needs of more than 45,000 members.