Estevan’s new K9 officer has visited a number of schools and has attended a number of community events with police dog Max over the last couple of months.
Estevan Police Service (EPS) Const. Paul Chabot and Max started serving the community in mid-October, at the end of their training in Regina. Since then they have been building their rapport and furthering their training.
It has been a good experience so far, Chabot said.
“There’s always a learning curve with everything we’re doing, but it’s always good,” said Chabot. “That’s kind of the cool thing. It always keeps things fresh and new and exciting.”
In the community, not only have they made presentations to schools, but they attended an EPS youth night and they participated in tours of the EPS building.
“We have done socialization things throughout the community,” said Chabot. “We went to the hockey rink at Affinity Place, getting him out into the community and showing him to the community and letting them know he’s there.”
During the school visits, Chabot has demonstrated Max’s drug tracking abilities and his obedience testing for the students.
“We’ll do a drug hide, a couple of them maybe in the building, and then he would locate those,” said Chabot.
Students are often apprehensive around Max at first, but once they get to see him, and get to know him a little better, they relax a little bit.
“He’s always been really good with kids so far,” said Chabot.
Max hasn’t had any issues around people so far, Chabot said.
Chabot is looking to bring Max to other schools and to community events so people can see him in action.
The K-9 unit has not been called out to help locate a missing person, track suspects or detect drugs. But if such calls do come in, they will be ready, Chabot said.
Max was particularly adept at tracking during his training in Regina.
When Chabot was hired to be Estevan’s new K9 officer, he said it was a role he always wanted. He has wanted to be a police officer since he was a child. The K9 job has so far proven to be everything he expected.
“It’s different every day, so there are definitely pieces of it that were what I expected,” said Chabot. “It’s definitely a lot of work, because you’re always training with your dog … to make sure he stays up to par, and so do you, so your skills don’t diminish, and so that when you do get a call, that you’re ready to go and you’re efficient and able to perform what you do.”
Chabot said he is fortunate the EPS allows him to stay current with his training for tracking and drug detection.
“I can just see that the more training that we’re doing, we’re just becoming more proficient in the tasks that we’re trying to accomplish,” said Chabot. “I think that’s motivating in and of itself to see the results and to see you’re getting better at things, because you want to always improve.”
As they get better at their jobs, it provides him with incentive.
It means they’re busy even when they don’t have a call, but when that call for assistance does come in, Chabot said they will be ready. In the meantime, he’s looking forward to making more appearances in the community.