K9 Unit

The Ventura Police Department currently has four K9 teams. All are assigned to the Patrol Unit so that a team is on-duty seven days a week, providing around the clock service to the community.

We have used K9 teams for over twenty years. Our agency was one of the first law enforcement agencies in Ventura County to use canines. All of our canines are German Shepherds and they live at home with their handler/officer and their families. The dogs fit right in at home however when it is time to go to work their training and discipline take over.

K9 teams are used for a variety of public safety assignments. The two most frequent uses are to locate fleeing suspects and to find illegal drugs. Canines can search an entire warehouse, for example, in much less time than a team of officers could perform the same job. Canines can sniff out hidden suspects thereby making them more effective in this situation than their human counterparts. Using K9 teams allows us to perform a variety of dangerous tasks in a quick and safe manner.

Our Department, along with other law enforcement agencies from Santa Barbara and Ventura County, train weekly with Dave Inglis, one of the foremost K9 trainers in the United States. Weekly training sessions typically last for most of the day and may vary between such skills as searching, apprehension, drug detection, obedience, agility, and confined searches.

Community Outreach

The K9 teams are very popular with local school and community groups and often provide demonstrations. This is an important part of our outreach efforts as it allows us to not only demonstrate the abilities of our K9 Unit but to deliver a message on crime prevention at the same time. Furthermore, it is a great opportunity for people to talk to the officer(s) and further build community-police partnerships.

Members of the VPD K9 Team also participate in various K9 trials and competitions and have won numerous awards. Participating in competitions allows our team to keep their skills sharp, measure themselves against other law enforcement agencies, and provides an opportunity to learn new techniques and skills.

VPD and The National Police Dog Foundation 

The Ventura Police Department is fortunate to be involved with the National Police Dog Foundation, a not-for-profit organization.

All of our canines (past and present) were purchased by the Police Dog Foundation (started by Dave and Debbie Inglis) and not through taxpayer dollars. On average the cost for a canine is $12,000, with an additional $8,000-$10,000 for training and certification, all of which is paid for through the generosity of the Foundation.

This local not-for-profit group has been a generous supporter of our K9 Team for several years. The Foundation seeks donations from the community and uses the money to purchase and train police dogs for law enforcement agencies throughout Ventura County. The donation of a trained police dog and handler is a tremendous benefit to our Department and to the community, and we cannot thank them enough for their support.

Meet the Team

Officer Joe Metz and Yankee

In April of 2014 Officer Joseph Metz and Yankee Vom Haus Vortkamp, aka Yankee, became partners and started their training together.  In 2014 they were sent to a rigorous 5 week police dog patrol school through the Inglis Police Dog Academy.

K9 Yankee was born in Germany on November 18, 2012.  He was purchased with help from the National Police Dog Foundation flown to Ventura where he was partnered with Officer Metz.

In August of 2014 Officer Metz and K9 Yankee went back to the Inglis Police Dog Academy and attended Narcotic detection school. Officer Metz and K9 Yankee returned to the Inglis Police Dog Academy in October of 2015, attending Urban Tracking school. Yankee has been trained in apprehension, narcotics detection and urban tracking through the Inglis Police Dog Academy. Officer Metz and K9 Yankee currently are assigned to a patrol.

Officer Juan “JC” Rodriguez & Rover

Officer Juan “JC” Rodriguez is partnered with “Rover”. JC and Rover joined the team in September 2014. Rover was born on August 4, 2012 in Germany as “Enjo vom Cap Arkona” and was purchased with a donation from Land Rover Jaguar Ventura. The name “Rover” was added on their behalf and you can view the press release regarding the event here: Rover press release. Rover was trained in Germany in basic obedience, tracking, and apprehension and arrived in the USA in October 2014. JC and Rover became partners shortly thereafter.

JC has been a sworn police officer since 1995 and has had the opportunity to work Motors, Detectives, Gang task force, narcotics on a DEA task force, and SWAT. He began working at VPD in Aug 2011 in patrol and got selected for a VPD K9 position in Sept. 2014. JC and Rover have been through Narcotics & Urban Tracking school at Inglis Police Dog Academy.

Officer Trevor Hrynyk and "Jag"

In March of 2016 officer Hrynyk was selected as VPD’s next K-9 handler he was paired up with “Jag" formerly known as Bronko von Schiffilache. Officer Hrynyk and “Jag" completed a rigorous 5-week patrol school at the Inglis Police Dog Academy in February 2016 and have been patrolling the streets of Ventura since.

Jag was brought directly from Germany to Ventura at 18 months old. Jag was purchased through a generous donation from Land Rover Jaguar Ventura.

Officer Hrynyk and Jag along with the entire K9 Unit dedicate an entire day per week for dog training. Training includes obedience, apprehension, searching and location of narcotics. A K9 team spends approximately 30% of their time training.

Trevor & Jag have been through Narcotics School at the Inglis Police Dog Academy and will attend Urban Tracking school in the fall of 2016 at the Inglis Police Dog Academy.

Officer Keith Therrien and Yoschi

Officer Keith Therrien is partnered with Yoschi Vom Haus Vortkamp aka Yoschi. Officer Therrien and Yoschi were partnered together in May of 2016 where they attended the Inglis Police Dog Academy. Yoschi was trained in basic obedience, tracking, and apprehension. Yoschi was purchased through donations made by Ventura Baptist Church.

Keith & Yoschi will be attending narcotics and hard surface tracking school in fall of 2016.

Officer Therrien is a veteran of the U.S Army where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi freedom and Operation Enduring freedom.

Contact Information

Should you have any additional questions regarding our K9 Team or the Police Dog Foundation please contact the individuals shown below.