K-9 Endeavor: Officers Demonstrate Skills for Elementary Students

K-9 Endeavor: Officers Demonstrate Skills for Elementary Students

Lt Robert Ortiz, kennel master and Sgt. Steven Goss, K-9 trainer for Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow offer K-9 officer Ricsi a red kong toy as a reward for finding hidden narcotics during a training demonstration at Endeavor Elementary School, Feb. 4. Goss explained to students that the natural prey drive in the dogs is used to hone their skills in detection and protection. Photo by Laurie Peterson.

BARSTOW, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2015) – Officers with the Marine Corps Police Department aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow conducted K-9 demonstrations for kindergartners, first-graders and staff at Endeavor Elementary School, Feb. 4. The demonstration was a follow-up to a Haiku Deck digital presentation about K-9 officer teams which was created by seven-year-old Logan Witcher, a student at the school and the son of MCPD Lt Justin Witcher, accident investigations chief at MCLB Barstow. Haiku Deck is a new website and software which EES uses to help children create presentations similar to PowerPoint. 

As part of the demonstration, Witcher role-played as a suspect, donned a 35-pound bite suit and hid in a shed in order for Sgt. Steven Goss, K-9 trainer at MCLB Barstow and K-9 Hokey to find and apprehend him in front of the children. 

Later, Logan and his five-year-old sister Ryley, also a student at EES, were able to try on portions of the training suit to get a feel for what it might be like to take part in the training. Lt. Robert R. Ortiz, MCLB Barstow's kennel master and K-9 Ricsi demonstrated how K-9 teams detect things and explained that the teams specialize in types of detection, such as explosives or narcotics. The officers further demonstrated why canine prey drive is so crucial in the training and reward process by presenting Ricsi with a red kong toy after successfully finding hidden narcotics. 

Ricsi, shaking with excitement, pounced on the kong, only reluctantly returning it to Ortiz at the end of the event.

The Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) is provided as a public service operated by Third Army/U.S. Army Central (ARCENT) on behalf of the Department of the Army in support of all branches of the U.S. military (Navy, Air Force, Marines) and its Coalition partners serving in the U.S. Forces Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility.