The Novato Police Department announced that officer Kendrick Pilegaard and K9 partner Lex, and Cpl. Kevin Naugle and K9 partner Ingo, completed an intensive five-week, 200-hour basic canine narcotics detection course on Nov. 16.

The four join officer Jeff Ames and his K9 partner Metz. The group is cross-trained in handler protection and narcotics detection.

“The five weeks of intense training represent our dedication to this program and to fulfill our commitment to the community to have the most effective K9 unit possible,” wrote Lt. Jennifer Welch in a statement.

The officers and their K9 partners received training from Heritage K9 and were certified by an independent K9 trainer.

“Fundraising efforts through the community-based ‘Pennies for Police Dogs’ have been instrumental in the ongoing support and training of our K9 unit,” Welch wrote.

The NPD is the only law enforcement agency in Marin County with a K9 unit.

"The dogs and their handlers serve a vital role in the police department’s front-line law enforcement efforts and will be able to help keep drugs off the streets and out of neighborhoods," Welch wrote.

The K9’s teams are a valuable resource and have been credited for successfully locating and apprehending fleeing suspects, recovering evidence, and providing security in crowd control situations. The NPD has made this resource available to other Marin law enforcement agencies on more serious crimes in the county, said the NPD.

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