Kimura, a dog, is now officially the toughest dog who was stabbed in the neck while subduing an armed suspect in April 2020, the 6-year-old Dutch shepherd has recovered from that life-threatening injury and proved it on Sunday at the Metropolitan Police Department’s 31st annual K-9 Trials.
The K-9 Trials, which brought out around 4,600 people at South Point to the equestrian arena, noticed law enforcement teams from Las Vegas and around the country competing in agility and pursuit-related circumstances on Sunday.
The top prizes were Top Dog, Top Agency, and Tough Dog, won by Kimura. The honor goes to the dog as the toughest, strongest, and most aggressive is awarded by the so-called “decoys,” or the officers who pretend to be criminals and wear the teeth-resistant “bite suits” to get bitten safely all day long.
Those officers determine the dog who bites, fights, and just goes the hardest, and they pick Kimura.
“So we were out for about six weeks and then he came back and didn’t miss anything. He had a hole in his neck that you could put your fist in,” officer Nick Bachman said, Kimura’s handler and a 24-year Metro veteran in the K-9 unit for five years.
“So for him to be able to go through that and come back and still be as tough as he was … it’s pretty good,” Bachman stated.
The executive director of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation, Tom Kovach, stated the event — which the foundation assists to organize — featured nearly 80 teams from law enforcement and military in the country, but mostly from Nevada, Utah, and California. He also added that the event allows people to see police dogs and their handlers’ skills.
There are a few search-related events that took place Saturday, but as a part of the competition, they weren’t open to the public, while patrol-related events were open to the public on Sunday.
The categories for the competition include narcotics, area search, bombs, building search, agility, obedience, and handler protection.
“It’s an opportunity for K-9s and their handlers to compete against each other,” Kovach stated. “We have handler teams coming from around the country and it’s also an opportunity today, being the public day of the trials, for the public to have a better understanding of the expertise and skill that our handlers and the dogs have.”
‘Pretty stinkin’ ecstatic’
Timber, a 4-year-old German shepherd, and officer David Allen, who is his handler, at the West Valley City Police Department in Utah won the Top Dog award, with the highest overall score in each category.
“I’m pretty stinkin’ ecstatic and I don’t know if I have the words to express it,” Allen stated after the event.
Allen, who stated Timber adores belly rubs at home and helps to find narcotics and people when he’s working, was rewarded with a big steak from a restaurant at South Point.
“When we got down here on Friday night, I was practicing and he just seemed really dialed into what I needed him to do,” Allen stated. “He was listening to me really well. It’s all the dog. He stole the show.”
The Top Agency award went to the law enforcement agency whose patrol dogs got the highest overall score in all the categories and went to Metro.
Events that were held on Sunday featured the dogs and their handlers from patrol-related exercises. For example, an officer wearing a bite suit would be fired from a fake gun, and the dog would go toward that shooter.
But the handler has the challenge to call the dog back. The adrenaline-fueled animal would have to follow its handler and abandon its run toward the shooter to demonstrate its obedience. Some listened to their handler. while some attacked the shooter.
Dogs also had to fight by a would-be criminal standing behind a pickup truck with a wooden board as an obstacle. The dogs would also have to neutralize a bag snatcher.
Brother v.s. Brother
There was also a brotherly rival. Eric Hutchason, who is a 38-year-old Metro K-9 sergeant, with his 5-year-old Dutch shepherd with his younger sibling David Hutchason, 33, of the Fresno Police Department in California, with his 3-year-old Belgian Malinois named Jack, competing.
The brothers stated that they were competing for bragging rights and enjoying some smack talk, and they love working with their animals. And being a K-9 officer offers them the chance to be involved in events, as a reward.
“We want the dog to be as safe as possible,” David Hutchason stated of the training the dogs undergo. “Yes, they are a tool, but they’re also our best friends and we want to use them responsibly and keep them safe.”
“This is fun. Being with him is great. It’s a great opportunity to be with my brother and doing this, and good competition,” Eric Hutchason stated. “K-9 trials, it’s a competition, but it’s cool to meet with other agencies and see how they train and what they expect from their dog versus what we expect from our dog.”