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Santa Rosa police canines win top honors

Santa Rosa police dogs nabbed top honors at a weekend competition for law enforcement agencies in California and Nevada.

A Belgian Malinois named Taz, with the guidance of his handler, Officer Mike Clark, won first place in patrol searches after taking only 10 seconds to find a subject hiding in one of six vehicles, Sgt. Ryan Corcoran said.

Taz's time placed him ahead of 29 other teams in the event, part of the South Lake Tahoe Canine Trials held Friday and Saturday.

Taz and Clark, alongside a second Santa Rosa team, Officer Luis Pena and his Belgian Malinois partner Hoss, earned a total of five awards, including top finishes in narcotics detection, Corcoran said.

Both Taz and Hoss are trained for narcotics detection as well as patrol service. They competed in events requiring that they find drugs in vehicles and buildings, as well as other timed obedience and skill tasks.

"There's value in seeing how our dogs match up," Corcoran said. "It's a test of our skills and training."


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