Police partners and pals: An inside look at K-9 teams - KPTV - FOX 12

Police partners and pals: An inside look at K-9 teams

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Kahz at work Kahz at work
Kahz at home Kahz at home
BEAVERTON, OR (KPTV) -

Beaverton police officer Anthony Bastinelli trusts his partner to have his back as they seek out bad guys in the line of duty.

He also trusts his partner to play a friendly game of keep-away with his kids in the backyard.

Bastinelli and officer Kahz form one of the Beaverton Police Department's five K-9 teams.

Bastinelli and the 6-year-old German shepherd have been together since 2009. Fox 12's Wayne Garcia was allowed to join them on a recent ride-along that included a suspicious car investigation on a Beaverton off-ramp.

A man was arrested on reckless driving charges and officers had reason to believe drugs were in the car.

Kahz, originally from Snohomish, WA, was called in to do what he does best, sniff out drugs. After a quick search, the dog immediately alerted to a pipe.

"When the dog finds something, it's awesome," Bastinelli said.

Once the search for perps ends for the day, Bastinelli and Kahz do not go their separate ways. Instead, they stay together, but their relationship changes.

Once home, there's an immediate and noticeable difference in Kahz. He transitions from fierce police dog tracking down drugs and suspects to a family pet who loves attention and playing with children.

"He's a German shepherd with a lot of teeth and I'm an officer wearing a lot of stuff," Bastinelli said. "But overall he's a nice fuzzy guy and so am I."

However, once it's time to get back to work, Kahz is always ready to serve and protect.

"He knows when we come home and it's a complete change of environment for him and he knows when I turn on my car in the morning that it's time to go to work," Bastinelli said. "He starts whining."

The Beaverton Police Department has five teams of K-9s and handlers. Last year, they performed hundreds of searches of buildings and cars and helped lead to more than 60 arrests.

Since being tracking certified 18 months ago, Kahz has made nearly 40 suspect captures.

"The value is huge. They can do a lot more than we can and it's much more cost effective," Bastinelli said. "The job that he can do could take several officers to do so it makes sense both financially and time wise."

Of course, there's also an emotional attachment that forms between the officers.

"He's your partner and he's your buddy and he's here to help you," Bastinelli said. "And he would put his life on the line for you."

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