I recently had the opportunity to interview Oro Valley K-9 police Officers Roger Reynolds and Mike Gaare with their dogs, Risu (pronounced E-su) and Vader. I wanted to interview them because I like dogs and the opportunity sounded awesome. Risu means ‘Squirrel’ in Japanese. Officer Reynolds named Risu that because his attention span is low, kind of like a squirrel.
I was interested to know why the Officers wanted to be policemen. Officer Reynolds responded that he was drawn towards a career in law enforcement because he wanted to serve and help people.
Another question I asked was if Officer Reynolds liked being a policeman. He said that he liked being a dog handler and was very fortunate in his career. I also asked if life as a policeman was difficult. He responded by saying it is hard because sometimes you miss important family moments. K-9 officers take their dogs home with them when they go off-duty.
I wanted to know if they liked taking Vader and Risu home. They both answered by saying that it was good to have a dog with them when they are off-duty. They also are treated like members of the family.
Before I met Risu, I wondered what he was like. Officer Reynolds told me that he likes playing and getting into things. Officer Reynolds also said Risu’s personality traits would be that he is energetic and curious.
I wondered if Risu got along with the other dogs. Officer Reynolds said that Risu does not get along with the other dogs. Risu wants to be the boss of them. But not all police dogs are like that. Officer Gaare says that Vader is one of them.
The last question was, did you get to choose Risu or was he chosen for you?
Officer Reynolds said that once you start out as a new K-9 officer your dog is chosen for you, but when that dog retires the other dogs are your choice. The dogs and policemen were very nice. They gave me a tour of the station, including the jail cells! I was glad the police officers took time out of their day for me to interview them.