By Russell Hixson
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Not many suspects choose to test the skills of Payne County Sheriff’s Department K9 Deputy Rudy and his handler, Deputy Rockford Brown.
After watching the two train, the reason why becomes clear.
Rudy and Brown practiced aggression control on Friday with the help of dispatcher Ty Burns, who donned a puffy bite-resistant suit.
Burns also held a wooden bat in his hand known as an agitator. He played the part of an uncooperative suspect.
With a simple command, 3-year-old Rudy’s muscular body took off like a rocket, slamming into Burns’ arm midair in a snarling mass of teeth and fur. With another command, Rudy, a Belgian malinois, reverted to sitting with his floppy tongue hanging out and tail wagging.
The attack command is rarely used, Brown said. Much like the Taser he carries on his belt, when suspects see the dog they comply.
Brown, Rudy and Burns demonstrated a variety of situations — armed suspect not complying, suspect running away, suspect attacking Brown during a pat down. Brown even demonstrated a panic button on his belt that pops open his vehicle door when he gets into trouble so Rudy can come help.
“It’s a constant training process,” Brown said.
Each month, he and Rudy go through hours of training to stay fresh and update techniques.
Soon, he and the other department’s K9 unit will travel to Houston to add more training to their arsenal.
Rudy has been with the Sheriff’s department for two years as of last month, Brown said.