Manteca Police conducted a swearing in ceremony Monday of the latest addition to its canine unit.
Rex, a German shepherd, and his handler officer Robert Argo have successfully completed an 8-week certification course. Rex had been certified in obedience, searching, apprehension, handler protection, controlled substance detection, and firearms detection.
Argo has been with the department for three years. He began his assignment with the Police Canine Unit as a canine handler on July 22.
This swearing-in ceremony is a way to show the department’s appreciation and respect since the police dogs work to keep officers and the community safe. Last year, 134 officers died in the line of duty nationally. During that same time period, 28 police canines also died in the line of duty. Although police canines are sometimes viewed as a “tool” for law enforcement, they are considered family by their handlers and their family.
Acting Police Chief Mike Aguilar noted the department also holds these canines in high regard and love. He noted they often encounter the same dangers as police officers. Canines frequently face hazardous situations in an effort to keep officers safe.