Inside Look at Canine Training at Alpena CRTC – WBKB 11
This week at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center is dog week. The National Association of Professional Dog Handlers has been sending K-9 units from across the continent to Alpena for a week, and they are receiving top-notch training. US Air Force and Base Col. Jim Rossi said, “We welcome here to the Combat Readiness Training Center, the National Association of Professional Dog Handlers.” Rossi also said, “There are 350 dogs and their handlers doing very important training here for these first responders.”
The partnership between the CRTC and NAPCH in training K-9 units has proven itself over time and continues to grow each year. Terry Foley, President of the National Association of Professional Dog Handlers, said, “This is our 17th year here, and for the fifth year in a row we have over 300 teams in attendance, all from Canada or the United States. Foley went on to say, “The training they get here is second to none because some of the training they don’t get in their localities.
For law enforcement who show up for training, it’s a week that they’re getting some serious training with not just their partner, but their buddy as well. Anthony Steariha, deputy sheriff for Ottawa County, MI, came to the CRTC with his partner, Goose. Steariha said: “There is no better job in the police than being a dog handler. You have your buddy with you all the time, he comes home with me, he goes on vacation with me. At night when you are driving in the car, you always have it there, you can handle a lot of calls. He added: “Knowing it’s in the car, just push a button and you can have it, but it’s the best job in the world on my books.”
This week-long event for K-9 units not only takes place on base, but also in the community, and the support has not gone unnoticed by Foley. Foley wanted to reiterate, “The community, Alpena, we have off-site locations that have been provided by Alpena County, City of Alpena, Citizens of Alpena. They are more than supportive of us coming out every year, and we want to let them know how much we appreciate what they do for us.