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Manteca’s K-9 superheroes

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POSTED January 26, 2009 1:47 a.m.
With the new season of American Idol underway, viewers will once again rush to their televisions each week to see who can sing and who can’t. Who’s going to Hollywood and who’s packing it up and going home. While I am somewhat interested in seeing how the program progresses each week, I am much more interested in seeing what Manteca’s K-9 crime fighters are up to.
Stories of Manteca police dogs aiding in arrests have been showing up in the paper so much so lately that I just had to find out a little more information about where these K-9 superheroes came from. I must say, what I found out was pretty “doggone” exciting.
The Manteca Police Department Canine Unit has 6 patrol dogs who are trained in Obedience, Agility, Search, Protection and Tracking. With the help of their committed handlers, these canine cops can find a lost person, search a building or open area for a hidden suspect and hold them at bay. Protect their handler and citizens, locate a lost item and control a crowd. To say the least, these doggie officers are incredible. Even their names (Spike, Rocky, Dollar, Blade, Kees, Iwan and Hawkeye) let you know that they mean serious business.
I’ve often seen the robust police shepherds hanging out of the back seat window of police cars as their handlers patrol the city and while I’ve always thought they were beautiful, I had no idea just how vital they can be to keeping a community safe.
Two of the K-9 officers in particular, “Blade” and “Spike” caught my attention recently as they’ve been making headlines for busting the bad guys. In the last few weeks the papers have said:
• “Manteca Police canine “Blade” put the bite on two of three residential burglars.”
• “Spike” left his mark on the suspect, bighting him on the right shoulder and in the right arm pit.”
• “The man resisted ... and police dog “Blade” took him down.”
Way to go Blade and Spike!
Call me crazy, but it doesn’t get any more exciting than that. Knowing that “Blade,” “Spike,” their handlers and the rest of the K-9 unit are busy fighting crime every day in our city to keep it safe is way better than what Simon, Paula, Randy and the new judge Kara might have to say.  And while American Idol is a pretty cool show to watch, I can’t wait to see what happens next right with our furry superheroes.
So bad guys beware! Manteca’s canine crew may soon be taking a crime-bite out of you.

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