DPS unveils new facility for its K9 Unit


The CNMI Department of Public Safety, with other department leaders, cut the ribbon unveiling the department’s new K9 Unit Facility in celebration of National Police Week. (Kimberly B. Esmores)

The CNMI Department of Public Safety unveiled Monday its new K9 Unit facility just in time for the celebration of National Police Week.

Dozens of men and women in blue gathered at the DPS K9 Unit facility on Capital Hill to unveil the newly renovated facility that will now serve as a home for seven Florida-trained K9 dogs that will soon accompany DPS officers patrol the streets of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

According to DPS Chief Robert Guerrero, the renovation of what was an abandoned building has been in the works for months and the construction done to turn the place into a home for these newly acquired K9s, down to the purchase of the K9s themselves, was a joint effort between the CNMI Office of the Governor, Department of Finance with help from DPS and Department of Corrections as well.

“This program, the K9 units, is essentially the governor’s program, with help from Department of Finance. I don’t know the exact cost right now simply because we bought things as we needed it. We thank the governor for the support that we needed to get this done,” he said.

The facility is equipped with seven individual kennels for each K9, a shower room, a storage room, a conference room, and a secured backyard that is easily accessible through a small door behind each kennel.

The K9s, he said, will serve as attack dogs as well as tracking dogs to further aid police officers apprehend suspects.

Five dogs will be stationed on Saipan while the other two will be stationed on Tinian and Rota.

“These police dogs, like most police dogs, are attack dogs. They are an officer’s partner out on the field. The plan with these dogs are for these dogs to be on every shift. So basically for 24-hour periods, there’ll be a dog on the street at all times to apprehend suspects or, God forbid, a suspect or an inmate escapes,” he said.

Guerrero added that these dogs are well trained from Florida and have been in training since they were pups for the sole purpose of becoming K9s.

They were also specifically chosen by the DPS officers who will serve as their handlers.

In addition, Guerrero said these officers will also undergo training in the next few weeks to properly handle these K9s.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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