Video: Gloucester Township Police Department Hosts National Police Dog Trials

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GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Police departments from all over the country gathered in Camden County this week to compete in the 2016 United States Police Canine Association National Police Dog Trials.
After months of hard work and extra training, one of the biggest weeks for law enforcement has begun in Gloucester Township with police officers and their four-legged partners ready to sniff, run, and stay, to prove that they’re eligible for a national certification.
“The dogs are tested on various things that they’ll encounter on the street for a patrol dog,” said Chris Gerace, a patrolman with Gloucester Township Police Department. “This is the closest thing that you can get to synthesize the stress that you’re under when you’re really working your dog on the street."
Beginning on Monday and lasting through Thursday, the K-9 teams are being tested on things like finding evidence to a crime, searching for a hidden suspect, maneuvering around obstacles at top speed, and apprehending the criminal.
“They have three minutes to locate two articles, so they are timed on that. The box search, they have four minutes to find the correct box," said Gerace.
While the Gloucester Township Police Department is busy hosting the different teams from across the nation, they’re still competing in hopes that their canines, like Arrow, will come out on top.
“I can’t complain. He got both articles, he did the box phenomenally. His finishes were nice, I can’t ask for more from him today, he did perfect," said Gerace.
Although the officer admits that it was stressful preparing for the test, it’s great practice for what could deal with on the street.
“You know, God forbid there was a murder and you’ve got to find the weapon that was involved in that, because that’s a lot of stress too, everybody is looking at you to find that weapon or whatever the case may be, and this is the closest, so if you can deal with it here, you can deal with it there," said Gerace.
The closing ceremony is Thursday night at Timber Creek High School, where the public can come out and see the best of the best for each category, and maybe even meet a few of the crime-sniffing officers from their own town.
“I feel like our community has really shined," said Gerace. “It’s a nice opportunity to show people our little portion of the United States.”