Riverside Police K-9 Team welcomes new officer and new police dog

Announcement from the Riverside Police Department:

2012-03-15-hibbard-and-billie-2.jpgThere’s a new dog in town.  The Riverside Police Department’s K-9 Team welcomed a new officer and police dog to the specialized unit. 

A vacancy became available when Officer Ray Soto retired after thirty years of service, with Soto serving the last nineteen years on the K-9 Team.

According to Sergeant Patrick McCarthy, the supervisor for the team, “Several officers have been participating with the K-9 Unit for years and have long awaited this vacancy.  Each officer has devoted a lot of training time and effort, and all have demonstrated a sincere passion to become a part of the K-9 Team.”

After a difficult selection process, Officer Eric Hibbard (pictured right, with Billie) was chosen to become the newest member of the team.

“The competition and interest displayed by each officer for this position was amazing, which demonstrates each officer’s commitment to the program,” McCarthy said.

Officer Hibbard has been with the Riverside Police Department for ten years and has been involved with the K-9 Team for the past five years. 

Following Officer Hibbard’s appointment, the entire K-9 Team went to Adlerhorst Kennel in Jurupa Hills to collectively participate in selecting Officer Hibbard’s new partner. 

After careful consideration and testing, a three-year-old Belgian Malinois named “Billie” was picked to begin a new career in law enforcement.

The Canine Unit Commander, Lieutenant Chuck Griffitts said, “I am glad to welcome our newest members to the program and am looking forward to Officer Hibbard’s training and development as a canine handler.”

Officer Hibbard and Billie will be attending a mandatory five week training course.

“The training consists of an assortment of scenarios and tactics to be considered when using the canine in the field,” Griffitts said.

See related story:  Riverside Police Department’s senior K-9 handler, Officer Soto, and police dog, Carat, to retire

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

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