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Kudos for Koda: El Cerrito's Multicultural Police Dog

He's a Czech German shepherd from Belgium whose language is Dutch and who lives and works in America. He's El Cerrito's new police canine, Koda, following in the paw-steps of the late King, the city's first K-9 officer.

The new canine recruit at the El Cerrito police department, Koda, approaches his job with a different temperament than his predecessor, King.

"He's quieter than King," said Officer Joshua Del Prado, the handler for Koda and former handler for King, who died unexpectedly from an intestinal ailment on February 10.

"He's very easy going, very calm," said Del Prado.

Two-year-old K-9 Officer Koda has kept a low-profile so far. Some citizens recently learned about him from a small footnote in the police departmet's 2011 Annual Report, published quietly last month.

Koda joined the department March 9 but immediately went into training, Del Prado said. This week marks his third week on active duty, but next week he goes off again for five weeks of narcotics training.

He's a Czech German shepherd from Belgium, and this is his first police job, according to Del Prado. King, a German shepherd from Germany, also was two years old and on his first police assignment when he joined El Cerrito police in the fall of 2010

One contribution that Koda has already made to the department is an opportunity for Del Prado to expand his linguistic skills.

To issue commands to King, Del Prado had to use German, the language that King was trained in. For Koda, he said, he had to learn "a little bit of Dutch."

Del Prado selected Koda as the best fit for El Cerrito from among several candidate dogs that had been screened by a police-dog search service, and when it came time for Koda's certification, the agency found that it was an excellent match, according to El Cerrito Police Chief Sylvia Moir.

"It was the easiest and fastest certification they've ever done," Moir said.

The El Cerrito Police Employees’ Association has raised funds for the department's canine program through its annual crab feed in January.

Toni Mayer May 17, 2012 at 07:52 PM
What a beautiful dog! I hope to meet him some day.
Dorothy Coakley May 17, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Oh, soooo cool!!! A Dutch-speaking dog! In my family, we use Dutch for only the happiest of moments, like singing "Lang Sall Sie Liefen" on birthdays! Welcome, Koda! Drop by Casa Canine any old time...Smiley, Furby and Emmett would so like to meet you!
JULIE MORTON May 17, 2012 at 09:29 PM
WOW, What a beautiful dog! Thank you to the ECPD for hiring him. You should hire more furry officers. By the way, RIP KING
Belle Canto May 18, 2012 at 06:52 PM
I am sorry to hear this handler has another dog. And I worry about the dog's well being with this handler. I was among those who bristled at the notion King "died of natural causes". While it was not necessarily true that King's death was caused by errors made by his handler, the death of such a young healthy dog is an unusual event. The repeated and vigorous assertion by so many of "Natural Causes" as the cause of death never passed the smell test with most people who know anything about dogs. Yes "bloat" can happen unexpectedly and doesn't mean the handler did something wrong but the whole thing ("natural causes") seemed kind of like a cover up to protect the handler. I wish this dog well but wish he were being cared for by someone else.

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