July 2017
Mt. San Antonio from Rancho Cucamonga: photo by Amanda Walker
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Rancho Cucamonga Police Department K9s Help Locate Missing Children

Two Four-Legged Officers Have a Nose for Police Work

Rancho Cucamonga's kids are much safer, thanks to the talents of the four-legged members of the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department (RCPD).

Deputy Ryan Girard spearheaded the revitalization of the department's K9 program in 2013. He recognized that K9 tracking could be an excellent resource for the City. Over the last four years, K9s Dare and Deja have used their sense of smell to locate missing children, disoriented seniors, developmentally disabled persons, evidence, and suspects throughout Rancho Cucamonga.

Police agencies across Southern California benefit from Dare and Deja's incredible capabilities. If an agency does not have tracking K9 resources and needs assistance with a search, Dare and Deja's handlers are contacted. This kind of multi-agency support creates lasting partnerships between RCPD and those agencies.

The most recent find involved a 10-year-old student missing from a Rancho Cucamonga Elementary School. On January 25, 2017, at around 5:45 p.m., school officials contacted RCPD when they discovered a student left campus and did not report home. Deputies searched the surrounding area, but were unable to locate the missing student.

At around 7:45 p.m., Deputy Ryan Girad and K9 Dare arrived at the scene and obtained a scent article provided by the student's parents. Dare tracked for about thirty minutes before identifying a strong scent of the child. At 8:15 p.m., Dare located the student behind bushes, asleep and uninjured, about a block away from the school. The child was immediately reunited with his parents. "Our K9s are an essential resource for our police department. Their ability to identify and track a scent, even hours after the initial report, is incredible. The dogs dramatically reduce man-hours spent on searches, getting deputies back in service and fighting crime," said Chief Danielle Boldt of the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department.