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The primary objective of the Atascadero Police Department K-9 Unit is to reduce hazard exposure to uniformed patrol officers as they carry out their public safety mission. When fully staffed, the unit is authorized two officer handlers and their respective service dogs. The program is overseen by a sergeant.
In an effort to maintain the highest operational standards, each K-9 team regularly participates in ongoing intensive training with other regional police service dog and handler teams at the Inglis Police Dog Training Academy. The day-long training occurs at least twice each month with additional specialized training occurring throughout the year.
Please click HERE to view a flyer about the K9 Program

Current K-9 TEAMS:
Senior Officer John Taylor and his canine,
Aik Vom Stadtfeld - “Aik”
Senior Officer Taylor has been with the Atascadero Police Department since 2005. Prior to his assignment as a K-9 handler, he served as a field training officer. Senior Officer Taylor has been awarded the Department’s Life Saving Medal and the Chief of Police Commendation. He was also selected as the Department’s Officer of the Year in 2007 by the Atascadero Elk’s Club. Prior to his employment in Atascadero,DSC_11145.JPG Senior Officer Taylor served as a police officer for the Morro Bay Police Department. Aik was born in March of 2005 in Germany. He was trained in the German sport of Schutzhund before he was selected by the staff of the Inglis Police Dog Training Academy in Ventura, California. Aik was selected specifically to work with Senior Police Officer John Taylor and the Atascadero Police Department.
Senior Officer Taylor and “Aik” completed an intensive five week patrol dog training course at the Inglis Police Dog Training Academy in Ventura. They began patrol duties as partners in October of 2008 and were presented to the Atascadero City Council on November 25th. At that time Senior Officer Taylor was presented with “Aik’s” badge. Traditionally, the Department has issued each of its canines with an official badge. “Aik” wears badge number 7, which coincides with the amount of dogs that have worked for the Department.
Officer Chris Hall and his canine,



"Atza" was purchased from Officer Hall for one dollar after Atza retired with him from his previous service for the Guadalupe Police Department. Officer Hall and Atza completed their training together as a team in 2012. They completed a five week patrol school, and a narcotic detection school. Atza is the eighth dog to work for the APD K-9 unit.

  • Reduce crime through the pro-active deployment of the police service dog.
  • Minimize the potential for assaults and injuries to police officers attempting to apprehend suspects involved in violent crimes.
  • Increase the number of suspects apprehended while committing or fleeing from the scene of criminal acts.
  • Minimize the potential for injuries to suspects while committing or fleeing from the scene of criminal acts by providing Police Officers with the less lethal force option of deploying the police service dog.
  • Reduce the personnel and time needed to thoroughly and safely search buildings or structures for suspects.
  • Enhance pro-active narcotics enforcement through the pro-active deployment of narcotics detection police dogs.
  • Enhance searches for missing persons or physical evidence.
  • Promote positive and closer relationships between the community and the Department.
Although the City allocates funds for the basic maintenance of the police service dogs, including food and veterinary care, the money for the purchase of each K-9 and the training of each K-9 and its handler has been historically generated solely by generous contributions from private individuals and Atascadero businesses. Each K-9 represents an investment of over $17,000 by the community. The continued success of the Department's fundraising efforts is testimony to the level of community support for the K-9 program. Each K-9 is truly the community's dog.
K-9 officers are available to perform demonstrations for public service organizations, schools, or other civic groups. If you would like to schedule a demonstration for your group or would like additional information regarding the K-9 program, please contact Corporal Taylor

The Atascadero Police Department's K-9 program started in 1988 when K-9 "Bodo" was purchased from funds donated by the Atascadero Realtors Association.
“Bodo vom Feldhoeker Land”
Officer Robert Eckrote
Bodo was a male German Shepherd born and trained as a patrol dog in Germany. and assigned to Officer Robert Eckrote as his handler. "Bodo" served the Department from 1988 until his retirement in 1994. As the Department's first K-9, "Bodo" had the distinction of wearing K-9 badge #1.
“Coffey’s von Chugash Rommel”
Officer William Tilley
"Rommel" was a male Rottweiler purchased in 1992 from money donated by a private individual. "Rommel" has been the only police service dog deployed by the Department that was not a German Shepherd. “Rommel” was also the Department’s first dog cross-trained in patrol and narcotics detection. "Rommel" was responsible for an impressive total of over $400,000 in asset forfeiture from drug arrests during his abbreviated three-year career.
"Rommel" and Officer Tilley both sustained gunshot wounds in 1994, as a result of an ambush by a suspect armed with a shotgun and a pistol. Both "Rommel" and Officer Tilley returned to duty within six weeks; however, "Rommel" was unable to continue as a police service dog and was medically retired in 1995.
1995 - 1998
For three years the Department had no K-9 program, relying upon other police agencies to provide K-9 assistance with searches for suspects and narcotics. In 1998 the City Council approved the reinstatement of the K-9 program.
The Atascadero Quota Club offered to help raise money for a new K-9. In May 1998 the Atascadero Police Association and the Atascadero Quota Club hosted the first "K-9s in the Park" fundraiser. The event was an overwhelming success and with the funds raised from that even, along with donations from other service clubs, businesses, and private individuals, the Department raised $10,000 to purchase K-9 "Lesko."
“Lesko vom Holzbach”
Senior Officer Robert Molle’
DSCN1118.JPG"Lesko vom Holzbach" was a male German Shepherd, born and trained in Frankfort, Germany. "Lesko" began his service in September 1998 assigned to Senior Police Officer Robert Molle as his handler. "Lesko" was cross-trained in patrol and narcotics detection.
The promotion of Senior Police Officer Molle to the rank of Police Sergeant, coupled with the unavoidable physical stress and slow deterioration of his general health brought on by years of police dog service, resulted in "Lesko's" retirement from his police service career in October 2005. Sergeant Molle’ assumed the K-9 Sergeant position and currently supervises the unit.
"Filou aus Gildenhaus"
Officer Andru Small
Senior Officer Robert Eckrote
With a $10,000 anonymous donation made in the memory of Kurt Heilmann, the Department purchased its fourth K-9 in March 2000.
"Filou aus Gildenhaus," was another male German Shepherd, born and raised in Veldhausen, Germany. “Filou” was initially assigned to Officer Andru Small. Officer Small left the Department to join the family business a year later. “Filou” was immediately reassigned to Senior Police Officer Robert Eckrote, making "Filou" Eckrote's second K-9 partner. Unfortunately, "Filou's" police service career with the Department was brief, lasting less than two years before he was retired.
“Zep van Guyshof”
Senior Officer Keith Falerios
In September 2002, "Zep van Guyshof" was chosen to replace “filou.” “Zep” was purchased with the funds from prior “K9s in the Park” fundraisors. “Zep” was a male German Shepherd who was born in Denmark but trained in Germany. "Zep" wa
s assigned to Senior Police Officer Keith Falerios as his handler and was cross-trained in patrol and narcotics detection. After serving the community for 5 1/2 years, "Zep" was retired for medical reasons.
“Zeke vom Inglishaus”
Senior Officer Michele Schamber
Zeke 11-8-05 066a(2).jpg
“Zeke” was purchased in October 2005, as “Lesko’s” replacement. “Zeke” was born and trained in Ventura, CA. “Zeke” was born into the K-9 business as both of his parents were in service police dogs. Two of “Zeke’s” littermates also became police dogs.
“Zeke” served the Department for 3 ½ years and was retired in July, 2008.


Category: Divisions

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