Police dogs from all over the U.S. participating in annual re-certification in West Springfield

Hampden County

More than one hundred police dogs and their handlers from all over America are in West Springfield this week sharpening their skills.

Franklin County K9 Police Officer Jim Ruddick hopes four-year-old partner, police dog “Arthur” can get his annual re-certification. Arthur’s being put through his paces by master trainer Bill Sombo.

“He will have to find three articles of evidence doing a search. The dog has five minutes to come up with the 3 articles,” said Sombo.

Arthur needs only 3 minutes and 48 seconds to find all three pieces of evidence.

Hundreds of police dogs and their handlers will have their run on the Big E grounds in West Springfield all this week.

The police officers who work with these dogs have great respect for their canine partners. 

Montague Police Officer Jim Ruddick is proud of Arthur’s ability to find criminals as well as contraband.

“He’s found a lot of people, he’s found a lot of narcotics, he’s also found a  lost hiker and her little boy,” said Ruddick. “We learn that every police dog is proficient at finding at least one type of evidence.”

Arthur’s good at finding narcotics, but not explosives. Police dogs good at locating narcotics would probably be too aggressive at finding the more sensitive explosives.

The re-certification of the nation’s police dogs will continue all week.

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