Tugging at the end of his lead, Freddy’s nose excitedly followed Patrolman Alex Vasquez’s hand as the officer tapped on surfaces where drugs might be hiding.
Both members of the Logan Township Police Department circled the training room Dec. 2 at the Kittanning Trail Volunteer Fire Company hall as police K-9 instructor Jim Walstrom kept an eye on the team’s performance.
“This training is as much for the K-9’s handler as it is for the K-9,” said Walstrom, who owns Keystone K9 and Security.
As Vasquez and Freddy circled the room a second time, Walstrom quieted his voice and pointed out the duo were cutting a corner near the hall’s garage door.
“It’s a two-pronged search between the dog and the handler,” Walstrom said. “You gotta let the dog free-search a bit, but if he’s not hitting the places you want him to go, you’ll give him a bit of guidance.”
Freddy, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois with a caramel coat and coal-colored snout, whined as Vasquez forced him to retrace their steps.
“(Freddy is) getting frustrated now, because he knows it’s here,” Walstrom said.
Unfazed by Freddy’s behavior, Vasquez directed the K-9…