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Annual event puts police and their K9 partners through their paces

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SALT LAKE CITY – Dozens of pairs composed of police and their K9 partners competed this weekend at an annual event.

The Utah Police Officers Association held their annual K9 trials this weekend, and those who participated worked to show off the skills and abilities of their animal companions.

Jim Winder, Salt Lake County Sheriff, said he was a K9 handler for almost 13 years and that the trials are a great opportunity to see how officers interact with their K9 companions. He said the best K9 teams are those who share a strong bond.

“The person who comes out here and thinks they are going to get through this alone, or the dog's going to carry them, they're gonna miss out,” Winder said. “You have to be working together. And that's one of the great things about the K9 function."

The officers put the dogs through their paces, and teams were judged on how well K9s moved through the obstacles and how well they communicated with their partner.