An officer and his or her partner must have the utmost trust in one another to make it as an officer. Luckily, K-9 Officer Cupa and Officer Jeffrey Padier have just that: trust.
“We’re with each other all the time,” Padier said. “If I’m on the beat, he’s there. If I’m out fishing, he’s there. We’re always together and we trust each other completely.”
Cupa, pronounced “Coopa,” started pounding the pavement in Paris in early fall of 2016.
“He made his first bust about an hour into his first shift,” Padier said. “He knows what he’s doing, and we’re excited to have him.”
Cupa is a 3-year-old atypical Belgian Malinois. He was born in the Netherlands and trained to become a dual purpose K-9 officer. This means Cupa is not only trained in patrol techniques, but also in detection of narcotics and more.
Generally, funding for K-9 officers comes from community donations. That wasn’t exactly the case for Cupa, however.
“We decided to use the forfeited funds from our drugs busts to pay for him,” Padier said. “We thought it was a great way to turn [drug dealers’] mistakes into something good for the community, hopefully getting those drugs off the streets in the future.”
In addition, Cupa and Padier keep their skills sharp by training with seized vehicles from drug busts, as demonstrated in the video below. Cupa received training in three different languages: German, Dutch and English.
With a sense of smell more than 10,000 times keener than that of a human, Cupa can easily track anything from drugs to a suspect or a missing person.
“Tracking is something we constantly train on,” Padier said. “Cupa’s training is reward-based, and his reward is his toy. I’ll take his ball out in the woods and hide it. After about 20-30 minutes, I’ll put his tracking harness on him, which lets him know it is time to track, and he will find his ball every time.”
Already, Cupa has proven himself worthy of the title of Paris Police K-9 Officer and we look forward to watching him continue to succeed.
Video: Amanda Cutshall / eExtra News