K-9 Competition

Officer Gary Herrero of the Leesburg Police Department and his K-9 partner, Banner, will be among those participating in the inaugural Space Coast Police K-9 Competition Oct. 13 at Cocoa High School.

COCOA – Space Coast residents and visitors will soon have a new opportunity to take a closer look at how police K-9s and their teams work together to keep people safe.

The inaugural Space Coast Police K-9 Competition, hosted by the Cocoa Police Department and sponsored by Brevard Kennel Club, will run from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Cocoa High School stadium, 2001 Tiger Trail.

Admission will be free.

More than 20 police K-9 teams from around Florida that specialize in patrol work, drug detection, search and rescue, suspect apprehension and other areas will compete in a Hard and Fast Dog Competition and obstacle courses.

Alongside watching the competition, attendees can enjoy a noncompetitive K-9 demonstration, a vendor expo, raffles, and food and beverages for purchase.

“This is the first time a police K9 competition has been held in this area,” said Officer Chris Hattaway, who’s working to organize the competition in collaboration with the event’s partners. “We hope to give the public an opportunity to learn more about our police dogs, and the important resource they provide in enhancing the job of the police officer which, in turn, benefits the safety of the citizens.”

“It’s also a unique and rare opportunity to see how skilled and highly trained the dogs are and the incredible bonds they have with their handlers,” Mr. Hattaway added. “Our K9 teams do demos at local schools and special events, but to be able to see these K9 teams compete on a field like what we have set up is going to be something unique and special. We hope people take advantage of this opportunity.”

Proceeds from the event will support Cocoa Community First, a nonprofit that funds the Cocoa Police Department’s youth and community outreach programs, and in part, its K-9 programs.

A portion of the event’s proceeds will also support Cocoa High School.

While the competition is being planned as a family-friendly event, pets will not be allowed to attend.

For information, contact Officer Chris Hattaway by calling (321) 637-6337 or via email at chattaway@cocoapolice.com.

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