In 1975, more than 50 police officers spent over two hours canvassing a dark cemetery in search of a robbery suspect who shot and killed a Long Beach Police Officer. They were unsuccessful. Westminster Police Department offered to assist and sent in their K-9. Within 90 seconds, the K-9 found the suspect hiding in the bushes.
Amazed and inspired, Officer Soeren Poulsen purchased a German shepherd from Denmark, where he also visited and received extensive training in K-9 handling, all with funds out of his own pocket. Poulsen and his K-9 Kazan began patrolling on a trial basis in 1978, with assistance from Officer John Vogler who helped keep up with proficiency training activities.
Back when the K-9 Unit started, a handful of guys pooled $10 each a month to cover food and medical care for the dogs. With limited resources, they got creative and wrapped newspapers around their arms as stand-ins for bite sleeves. But in 1982, with help from Mr. and Mrs. Gangloff and the Long Beach Police Officers Association, proper paperwork was filed and the official nonprofit Long Beach K-9 Officers Association (LBK9OA) was born.
The LBK9OA provides funding to purchase replacement dogs and provide lifetime off duty medical care and treatment for them. They also contribute funding for seminars, competitions and other activities designed to further the goals and objectives of the K-9 Unit. Fourteen directors serve on the board for the association and the K-9 Sergeant is the advisor. Currently, the association supports eleven handlers and fourteen service dogs.
Today, dogs for the K-9 unit cost about $12,000. First time handlers are required to pay $3,000 out of their own pocket for their first dog and the Association covers the remaining balance. The Association also pays for regular medical care and treatment for the K-9’s with one exception: The City of Long Beach covers all medical expenses for treatment of on-duty injuries or illnesses.
The Long Beach K-9 handler course has been recognized as the most respected in the state.
The Association holds an annual Benefit Car Show to raise funds. This year’s event will be held on May 11, 2013. View the flyer below for more information.
The Officers also host smaller-scale events to share information about their program with the community. On two separate occasions, they introduced K-9’s Jhonny and Basco to groups of preschoolers who quizzed the officers on the utility of the dog’s eyes, ears, noses and tails. They even asked hard questions about language, skill, and fashion accessories.
The K-9 Unit is an important component to the Long Beach Police Department offering assistance in everything from sniffing out drugs to protecting high-profile visitors to tracking down bad guys who almost got away.
The majority of the fees incurred by a K-9 Unit are not paid for by the City of Long Beach. They are paid for by dues paying members, generous donors, and citizens of the community who believe in the great benefit that the K-9 Unit brings to our Police Department.
If you are interested in supporting the Long Beach K-9 Officers Association with a donation or becoming a member please follow the links below:
Proceeds from the purchase of all merchandise goes to support the Long Beach K-9 Officers Association.
Connect with the Long Beach K-9 Officers Association:
Scan this with your Smart Phone or click to view the LBK9OA web site: