Posted by Barbara Beagle on Sep 20, 2018
Corporal Aaron Baker, accompanied by his gorgeous black German Shepherd Patrol Dog named Hiko, spoke (and barked) to us, explaining the hugely important mission of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit. 
 
In a nutshell: they catch bad guys fast without using deadly force, saving police, citizens’, and targets' lives, and recovering crucial evidence.
 
Some facts and figures:
  • Bremerton Police Dept and the Sheriff unit each have two K-9 Patrol Dogs
  • K-9 units track only “the most dangerous” suspects
  • Hiko is 8.5 years old, and in 6 years has successfully tracked his target 140 times; the longest track taking 3 hrs 40 min. 
  • Hiko is a permanent resident in Cpl Baker’s home, and will continue to be after retirement.
  • A patrol unit (Officer and K-9) represents a $30,000-$40,000 investment, including purchase of the dog  ($10,000-$15,000), outfitting the patrol car, and 400 hours of training for both dog and handler.
  • Hiko’s custom-made ballistic resistant vest cost about $3,000, which was privately funded (same with the other three Patrol Dogs’ vests in Kitsap County).  Hiko doesn’t wear it on extended tracking situations; it’s too heavy. 
  • Ongoing maintenance and vet bills are considerable every year.  Donations often cover expensive surgical repair of injuries.
  • Most patrol dogs (German Shepherds, German Malinois) come from Europe.  Hiko came from Serbia.
  • K-9 patrol cars are outfitted with temperature sensors which automatically turn on the A/C when necessary.
To watch Cpl Baker’s entire presentation that was streamed live on Facebook, go to  Part 1: