Alamogordo police, animal control meet with residents at Coffee with a Cop
By Nicole Maxwell, Alamogordo Daily News
Original article HERE
Patron’s Hall coffee shop in Alamogordo was brimming with activity Tuesday morning with local law enforcement including Alamogordo Police Department, Alamogordo Animal Control and more came to interact with the public as a part of Coffee with a Cop, an event sponsored by the Optimist Club of Alamogordo.
The event ran from 10 a.m. until noon and Optimist Club of Alamogordo President John Cowart estimated that more than 35 people showed up over the course of the event.
“We’re very pleased with the turnout at the event and that so many people came to meet members of the police department that I want to remind everybody that’s one of the purposes of the Optimist Club is to promote respect for law and this is one of the ways we can do that,” Cowart said. “We were pleased especially that (APD) brought the K-9 Unit this time and that so many of the children got the chance to meet a police dog in a non-threatening environment.”
K-9 Sgt. Chris Hughs and K-9 officer Covi, one of three APD K-9s, made the rounds at the event.
“He goes home with us at night but he’s not your typical pet,” Hughs said. “You don’t lay around on the couch with him and watch TV. He has a place and he stays in it. He’s a working dog.”
Covi and his two fellow K-9 officers German shepherd Brutus and Belgian Malinois Moika are dual trained which means they are trained to find narcotics and they are trained for patrol.
“Patrol work includes finding people, searching for people, they’re able to track and are also able to find articles,” Hughs said. “If somebody’s running from us or if they throw a gun out the window as they are driving by, we’re able to track that article.”
Covi was activated as recently as Monday to help find narcotics.
“The K-9 division was started on a tragedy. Clint Corvinus, when he was killed, wanted to have a K-9 division,” Hughs said.
The K-9 unit came to be after Corvinus was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 2, 2016. Corvinus and former APD Chief Daron Syling wanted to start a K-9 unit and after Corvinus’ death, grants came in including one from Albertsons, Hughs said.
These grants helped the K-9 Division get started which included buying the dogs.
The cost of a dog is $12,000 to $15,000, Hughs said. This does not include training.
Covi came from The Netherlands and understands commands in English, German and Czech.
At one of the tables near Hughs and Covi was Alamogordo Animal Control Officer Dwain Martinez chatting with Amber Cuellar and Derrick Espinoza about a dog issue in their neighborhood.
Martinez said the hardest ordinance to enforce is the barking dog ordinance because it can be hard to catch a dog barking.
The first Alamogordo Coffee with a Cop event was Oct. 3 and about 30 residents attended. Cowart would like to do another Coffee with a Cop event in April.