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Caldwell PD & Burleson County Sheriff debut new police dogs, Riggs & Judge

Posted at 6:46 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 19:46:54-04

CALDWELL, Texas — When a deputy or police officer in a rural area needs to investigate a narcotics call, sometimes they can wait up to an hour for a K9 unit to arrive from a larger city. This year is the start of an exciting new chapter for both Caldwell PD and the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office as they publicly presented their new working dogs, Riggs and Judge.

They’re fluffy, friendly, and most importantly – they're trained and ready to work. BCSO's new German Shepherd, K9 Judge, and Caldwell PD's new Belgian Malinois, K9 Riggs, have hit the streets of the county with their handlers, ready to take on crime. At a special meeting with law enforcement and community leaders in Caldwell, the dogs made their public debut on Tuesday.

“These dogs will be used to detect, deter, and reduce the manufacturing, trafficking, and possession of narcotics in this county," said BCSO Chief Deputy John Pollock.

K9 Riggs has already been hard at work in Caldwell for five months, and Judge started his shifts approximately two weeks ago.

“[Riggs has] nine felony arrests, one successful track to a person, and one successful track to an article someone had left before they got in their vehicle," said Ofc. Coleman Decker, K9 handler for Caldwell PD.

Neither Riggs nor Judge are trained as bite dogs, yet Riggs has presented a natural skill for tracking criminal suspects, Decker explained. Just recently, while working a call chasing a suspect into dense woods, Decker said he had a hunch that Riggs might be just the person needed to catch the culprit.

“[I thought,] that’s way too thick, way too thick," Decker said. "A person didn’t go through there. And then you blow out the other side of the brush, and whenever you get through the other side of the brush, [Riggs is] pretty much at a sprint and goes right to the guy. Riggs is like, 'hey, he’s right here' - laying down in a shallow creek, where I couldn’t have seen him if I had just been looking.”

These police dogs came to their department by way of the nonprofit K9s4COPs, who fund the acquisition and training of the dogs at little to no cost to the departments. Through a K9s4COPs sponsorship by donors Dr. Sam and Julie Harrison, the nonprofit saved Caldwell and Burleson County thousands of dollars on these new four-legged resources.

“In our current age of dwindling law enforcement resources, having K9s4COPs is a wonderful adjunct, and a great opportunity for us to make our community safer, and our state safer," Sam Harrison said.

While both departments have budgeted for the long-term care of the dogs, already members of the community are donating money and items like dog food.