Whenever you have two partners fighting crime together, you want to make sure they're on the same page, perfectly synchronized if at all possible.
Cpl. Kevin Naugle and his four-legged partner, Ingo, have got it down after five weeks of intensive training with Heritage K9 Training of Fresno.
Ingo, who is about 5 1/2 years old, had been through training before but not with Naugle and not with Heritage. Previously, the German shepherd had worked with Officer Mike Braun, who has returned to patrol duties.
"This was a different style of training, and we wanted to get Kevin and Ingo comfortable with each other," said Interim Chief Jim Berg after a short graduation ceremony at the police station last week.
Naugle worked many years with Kyto, another German shepherd . Kyto still lives with Naugle, as does Ingo and one other dog.
The training is partly funded by the Pennies for Police Dogs campaign, a group created by several citizens to support Novato Police's canine unit. The group hopes to raise $10,000 in the next month or so to send Ingo and another dog, Lex, to narcotics detection training. The third NPD dog, Metz, recently completed the training, as reported in this story.
Berg said about $2,500 in donations rolled in within the past two weeks, giving the fundraising effort a great start.
Berg also said there is a chance the Pennies program could earn nonprofit 501c3 status sometime soon, allowing donations to be written off for tax purposes.
"That would be ideal," he said. "We are looking at several opportunities."