A couple of years ago, after much testing of potential candidates, the Cotati Police Department received a new police K-9. We ran the potential “recruits” through a rigorous testing process, including some of the finalists: a French bull dog, a golden retriever and tea cup poodle. It is a little known fact that police K-9s must be bi-lingual, because their working language is typically German, or to a lesser degree, Dutch or Czech. While all of the recruits passed the “treat” test with flying colors, it was during the other tests that things began to unravel for these finalists. The French bull dog refused to learn German and frequently went on strike. The golden retriever mostly wanted to sleep all day, but during testing would only lick suspects into submission, which, it turns out, takes an extraordinarily long time. Conversely, the tea cup poodle was highly aggressive, but couldn’t reach above a suspect’s ankles and we couldn’t find a K-9 vest in “tea cup” size.
In the end, the Cotati Police Department selected a German Shepard-Belgian Malinois mix named Remo. Both breeds are herding dogs, which are highly intelligent, loyal and relentless workers. Remo is trained in patrol and in narcotics detection and is also highly skilled in treat detection, including donuts, like all good police dogs. With his herding instincts, Remo excels in rounding up suspects or large groups of stray toddlers.
We have a variety of community events coming up, including Coffee with a Cop in late July and National Night Out August 7th. While at National Night Out, I encourage you to stop and meet Remo and our human peace officers. If you’re lucky, you may even see a bite suit demonstration. This involves one of our “lucky” officers dressing up like the Michelin Man, who plays the role of the perpetrator. When given the command, Remo quickly catches the “perp” and then gets to chew on him or her for a while. It is a sad end to the Michelin Man, but it is also great entertainment, so we suggest grabbing some popcorn!
If you miss your officers at a community event, I would also encourage you to say hello to the cop who is working your beat. Cotati is divided up into “beats” or areas of the city where an officer is the lead and he or she regularly patrols all of the areas in their beat. Of course, they are not restricted to these areas, and can still respond to any issue anywhere in Cotati, from assisting with the stuck unicorn balloon in the tree to getting crooks off the street. However, it does allow the officer to become more familiar with some of the unique issues in different neighborhoods in Cotati and provides an opportunity for you to meet the officer working in your neighborhood without having to go to the police station.
Safety continues to be one of the city council’s top priorities and we are constantly looking for new ways to improve safety while preserving our small town feeling. Measure G, the local sales tax, has not only preserved our local police force, it has allowed us to hire a new officer and restore the traffic officer assignment. With this stability and the professionalism of our police department, it has also enabled us to begin dispatching the Sonoma State University (SSU) Police. Not only has this allowed us to hire another police officer and part-time dispatcher, it also deepens our mutual assistance with SSU, making both communities safer.
There are a lot of exciting things happening at the Cotati Police Department, so I hope that you are able to meet Remo, your officers, and your dispatchers - and hopefully not because you were speeding! Together, they make up a fantastic team that is part of our community and keeps us all safe.