K9 Unit

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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.

Inglis Police Dog Academy

The Inglis Police Dog Academy plays a major role in the canine program. They travel to Germany and hand select canines for VPD as well as other agencies. A K9 is paired with their police officer handler a few days after their arrival from Germany. The canine and handler go through a rigorous five week patrol school, graduate and hit the streets as a team. They will later attend narcotics training and finally urban tracking school.


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 donations to the VPD K9 Unit. All of our canines, past and present, have been purchased through community donations and event fundraising. Our K9 Unit appreciates the support of the community and the many businesses and organizations that have sponsored our crime fighting team!

Meet the Team

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.

K9 Yoschi was awarded 2nd Place Top Dog, 3rd Place Building Search and 5th Place Handler Protection at the 27th annual Las Vegas Metro Police K9 Trials. Over 40 K9 Officers and K9s from around the Southwest and Mexico competed during the three-day
event in October 2017. The event was sponsored by Friends for Las Vegas Police K9s and hosted by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. It was K9 Yoschi and his handler Officer Therrien's first time competing and they did a stellar job!

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


Officer Jack Ortega and Miles

Officer Jack Ortega is partnered with Miles. Officer Ortega and Miles were partnered together in July of 2017 where they completed a 5-week patrol school through the Inglis Police Dog academy. Miles is trained in obedience, tracking and apprehension. Miles was purchased as a result of a generous donation from Josh Spiker of Mile 26 Sports here in Ventura. Officer Jack Ortega has been an officer twenty and a half years and was also a K9 Officer in the past, partnered with K9 Felix and K9 Artus from 2001-2011.


Officer Anthony Avila and Bolt

Officer Anthony Avila is partnered with Berkan Vom Haus Vortkamp, aka Bolt. Officer Avila and Bolt were partnered together in July of 2017 where they completed a 5-week patrol school through the Inglis Police Dog Academy. Bolt is trained in obedience, tracking and apprehension. Officer Avila has been a sworn peace officer since April of 2012. Bolt was brought to Ventura from Germany at 18 months old and has been training to be a police dog since he was a puppy. Bolt is related to current K9 Yoschi and retired K9 Yankee. Bolt was purchased by a generous donation made by Automotive Racing Products who manufacture bolts, studs, nuts and washers. 

Contact Information

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