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OCPD introduces canine Flint to local students

Dozens of students in the Oregon City School District returned to classrooms last week with fond memories of participating in a free summer camp run by the local police department.

Kids bowled in Milwaukie and watched Clackamas Fire District No. 1 personnel tear apart a Bud’s Towing car to simulate rescuing a crash survivor using the “jaws of life.”

But a highlight for students and youth-camp organizer Officer Steve Heryford was a visit from Officer Dan Shockley and his canine partner, Flint. Shockley, who started OCPD’s first canine program in 2003, demonstrated the power of his 6-year-old, 75-pound German Malinois friend on the field of the shuttered Mt. Pleasant Elementary building that the camp calls its home base.

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - OCPD Officer Dan Shockley allows students to pet Flint after introducing his canine partner at the Mt. Pleasant Elementary school field.But first, hearing that Flint is trained in tracking and capturing suspects, kids wanted to know why Shockley would send a dog whom he loves into an abandoned building such as Mt. Pleasant or some other dangerous situation.

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Austin Romine, a 2013 graduate of Oregon City High School, dons a thick canvas suit to demonstrate Flints response to commands.“I don’t want Flint to get hurt,” Shockley replied, “but it’s still better than an officer getting hurt.”

However, suspects tend to relent when Flint confronts them, Shockley noted.

“When he finds the bad guys, Flint grabs their arm or their leg or, if they cooperate, he’ll just stand there and bark at them until I arrest them,” Shockley said.

Just a couple of months after getting Flint in 2010, Shockley told the story of catching a man speeding who was “probably on drugs.” After pulling over the vehicle, the man tried to grab Shockley’s weapon, but Shockley pressed an automatic door opener, sending Flint to the rescue.

“It ended the fight pretty quickly, and it saved me from having to hurt the guy worse than Flint’s bite,” Shockley said.

Shockley also shared fond memories of handling Titus, a 10-year-old police dog who retired in 2010 after contracting arthritis. Titus found suspects in warehouses, trash bins, up trees, under houses, in attic crawl spaces, and “just about everywhere else you could imagine,” according to Shockley.

While Shockley was taking a two-month paternity leave, Titus bit interim handler Officer Tanner Crivellone when Titus became excited in the police department.

All the students then raised their hands when Shockley asked, “Who’s ready to see one of your counselors in a bite suit?” Austin Romine, a 2013 graduate of Oregon City High School, donned the thick canvas suit and showed off Flint’s knowledge of various German commands.



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