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Benton PD welcomes Dino to K-9 unit | News

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Benton PD welcomes Dino to K-9 unit

BENTON, Ark. (KTHV) - The Benton Police Department has a new officer joining the force that has an exceptional nose, a passion for chewing on tennis balls and is ready to take a bite out of crime. 

Dino is an 18-month-old Belgian Malinois, who has been training for eight weeks with the Little Rock K-9 Academy to become a Police Patrol and Narcotic Detector Dog. According to the K-9 Academy Public Information Officer/Instructor Clay Smith, Dino has become a dual purpose dog. 

"Traditionally people think of police dogs as narcotics dogs, but Dino is also trained for the patrol aspect...He’s able to track suspects down and alert their position to the handler," said Smith. 

Dino is assigned to Detective Kyle Ellison, and they are assigned to the Special Investigations Unit and the Benton Interstate Criminal Enforcement Patrol (BICEP) unit.

“I was introduced to K-9 Dino on the first day of the course, along with a wealth of knowledge offered by Tony Smith and his staff at the Little Rock K-9 Academy,” Det. Ellison said. “I was taught how to read and understand Dino, and how to properly communicate with Dino so that we could become a successful team. The intelligence, work drive, discipline and loyalty Dino has shown to me has been very impressive.”

Smith said that Dino, like all other K-9s, are first trained solo and later assigned a handler. He said the handler also attends a class to learn how to work with the K-9. Smith said the handler learns the “legality of when you can and cannot utilize the dog, all the fourth amendment implications for the narcotic searches and how that works, and then the fourth amendment implications for patrol searches or suspect apprehensions, along with handler protection.”