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Thursday, November 15, 2018

K-9 Pipo is in pursuit for the PD

K-9 Pipo is in pursuit for the PD

Who’s a good boy? Pipo is a good boy.  Good at tracking, searching a building for explosives and apprehending suspects fleeing police officers. Pipo joined the Westminster Police Department’s K-9 unit in October and is excited to be on the job.

Weighing in at 60 pounds and 1 ½ years old, Pipo is a Belgian Malinois dog. He was assigned to Sergeant Brian Hempelmann after K-9 Diesel retired earlier this year.

“Pipo came to us from Slovakia in central Europe, where they have some of the best trainers and kennels for K-9 unit dogs,” said Hempelmann. “Once we choose a dog, they’re shipped to the U.S. where we do additional training.”

Pipo had earned a Schutzhund Level One title already when he arrived in America, which is a method for evaluating temperament, character, trainability for dogs. At this level, Pipo had been trained in bite work, tracking and obedience. Hempelmann and Senior Police Officer Damian Perez then put Pipo through the city’s eight week K-9 academy where he learns additional tracking skills, evidence recovery, apprehension and the ability to identify 16 odors, such as explosive chemicals and gun powders.

 “It’s not all training for Pipo, though” said Hempelmann. “He lives with me and he likes to go for walks and play when we’re not on shift. He enjoys fetching and chewing on these oversized tennis balls we have.”

Officers in the K-9 unit are on-call 24-7 with Pipo and Hemplemann working 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The two are on patrol during this time and are available to answer any type of call that comes in, with Pipo being deployed as needed.

“Pipo and I assisted another agency last month to check Folsom Field in Boulder for explosives before the CU/Oregon State game,” said Hempelmann.

“Pipo is great with kids has been a great addition to our unit, so we’re excited for him to help keep our residents safe,” said Hempelmann.

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