Our “Boys of Summer” series rolls on this Friday with a look at K-9 Vegas and his handler Detective Constable Bryan Armstrong. An officer with Durham Regional Police since January of 2000, D/Cst. Armstrong has spent the last 16 years working with canines in Durham and Toronto. He feels he’s blessed by getting to work with a dog like Vegas, who is so stable and predictable.
1. What kind of dog is Vegas and how old is he?
Vegas is a German Shepherd. He was born in the Czech Republic and is five years old.
2. When did he join DRP?
Vegas has been with us for three and a half years now.
3. What kind of specialty training does Vegas have?
He’s trained as a General Purpose K-9, so he has a wide array of skills.
4. Can you tell us about some of Vegas’ career highlights?
In 2010, an armed robbery suspect bailed out from a vehicle before fleeing through a neighbourhood and onto railway tracks. Vegas tracked the suspect for two kilometers along the tracks and into a different neighbourhood. Upon knocking at the door of a residence, the suspect was located inside. The unaware homeowner told police that he had let the suspect in after he said his car broke down and he needed to call for a taxi.
On Christmas Eve of 2011, Vegas and I observed a stolen car travelling eastbound on Hwy 401 near Newtonville. As we followed the car while waiting for backup, the suspect pulled off the highway then re-entered in the westbound direction. After following the suspect for 15 minutes, OPP officers caught up and tried to stop the vehicle. The suspect attempted to escape, crashing his vehicle into the centre median in the process. As Vegas and I approached on foot, the suspect exited his vehicle and ran down the highway. Disregarding repeated warnings to stop or the dog would be unleashed, the suspect continued trying to make an escape. Vegas was sent down the now blocked-off highway, where he apprehended the suspect. The suspect was taken into custody and spent his Christmas nursing stitches from Vegas.
5. What about some fun facts about Vegas?
Vegas dislocated a toe during his initial training, which resulted in a floppy toenail that never wears down. Even after trimming it, Vegas can be heard coming because the nail hits the ground with each step, creating a loud “tick” sound.
Vegas is named after the city of Las Vegas, a favourite vacation destination of mine. He’s a very laid back dog who is great with kids and plays like a puppy on his days off. Vegas is very friendly around people, but when he’s going after a “bad guy” he has a feared reputation as a dog you don’t want to run from.
Next week we’ll be looking at Havoc and his handler D/Cst. Wayne King, as our Boys of Summer series continues.
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Vegas relaxing down by the water (JPG file, 315.2K bytes)