FOLEY – The City of Foley recognized police canines this week with a proclamation in their honor.

Sgt. Carlos Lizarraga and K9 Tua, Cpl. Curtis Ricks and K9 Niko, K-9 Officer Eric Morris and K9 Bo, and K9 Officer Mark Whorton and K9 Vidar were all honored for their participation in the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) National Field Trials.

The competition was held in Foley in September, and the Foley team helped put the city on the national stage.

K9 COMPETITION Alabama News
The United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) National Field Trials was held in Foley the last week in September.

Corporal Curtis Ricks and his K-9 Niko, Officer Eric Morris and his K-9 Bo participated in the competition, and Officer Mark Whorton helped host the event. Over 100 teams competed but still, some of the local teams stood out.

Lizarraga and his K9 partner Tua took first place awards for apprehension work and suspect search and third place overall. Lizarraga was also part of a four-man region team that received a first-place award. Lizarraga and Tua also won the Captain Tom Larsen award for the highest combined article and suspect search.

On Monday, Mayor Ralph Hellmich read a proclamation commending the police department and their K9 team for a job well done.

Foley City Council Dogs Alabama News
Foley City Council recognizes K9 officers. From left: Sgt. Carlos Lizarraga with K9 Tua, Cpl. Curtis Ricks with K9 Niko, K9 Ofc. Mark Whorton with K9 Vidar. Not pictured: K9 Ofc. Eric Morris with K9 Bo. Photo: Erica Thomas.

“We’re awarding our group of award-winning K9 officers and of course the stars of the show, the dogs,” Hellmich said. “We want to thank them for what they’ve done and what they’ve achieved.”

The City received over $20,000 from the USPCA.

It took about a year for the city to prepare for the event. It was the second time Foley hosted the USPCA competition.

The USPCA trains and certifies police dogs in general patrol, tracking, protection, narcotics, explosives, arson, fish and game and search and rescue. It is the oldest police K9 organization in the nation. It trains German shepherds, Belgian Malinois, retrievers, Labradors, border collies, bloodhounds and more.

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