The Porterville Police Department is welcoming its fourth K9 officer to its force.
"Chanto" -- a 1 1/2-year-old German Shepherd from East Germany -- and Officer Michael Gray graduated from the Basic K9 Handler Course held at Adlerhorst International K9 Academy in Riverside on July 20.
During the six-week course, Officer Gray trained with "Chanto" in several disciplines including obedience, agility, area searches, building searches, evidence searches, criminal apprehension and searching for lost persons.
Officer Michael Gray is a native of Porterville and has been with the Porterville Police Department since November 2009. Prior to that, he served as a Deputy Sheriff with the Tulare County Sheriff's Department assigned to the Porterville Substation.
In February 2012, Officer Gray was selected to join the K9 Unit, and he began his formal training with "Chanto" four months later.
The addition of "Chanto" brings the number of police K9s with the Porterville Police Department to four. The police department says this will allow it to have a K9 officer available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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