Polson hosts national police canine training

Print Article

  • LAKE COUNTY Sheriff Office’s Canine Deputy Scott Sciaretta with his canine partner, Max, visited Dayton Elementary School during the school year. Max and his man received updated certification in narcotics searches at the training in Polson last week. (Carolyn Hidy/Lake County Leader)

  • 1

    A FEW law enforcement officers from the western U.S. and Canada who participated in last week’s canine law enforcement certification course in Polson. (from left): Shawn, with K9 Dahber, John Toews with Mya, Marijke Barnson with Java, Siw Lea with Ukey, Todd Schleusner with Jake, and Julie Balch with Talyn. (photo by Carolyn Hidy/Lake County Leader)

  • LAKE COUNTY Sheriff Office’s Canine Deputy Scott Sciaretta with his canine partner, Max, visited Dayton Elementary School during the school year. Max and his man received updated certification in narcotics searches at the training in Polson last week. (Carolyn Hidy/Lake County Leader)

  • 1

    A FEW law enforcement officers from the western U.S. and Canada who participated in last week’s canine law enforcement certification course in Polson. (from left): Shawn, with K9 Dahber, John Toews with Mya, Marijke Barnson with Java, Siw Lea with Ukey, Todd Schleusner with Jake, and Julie Balch with Talyn. (photo by Carolyn Hidy/Lake County Leader)

The community of Polson opened its arms to provide training grounds for dozens of law enforcement canines and their handlers to practice and certify in law enforcement scenarios recently.

Scott Sciaretta, Lake County Sheriff Office’s Canine Deputy, Field Training Officer, and Search and Rescue Coordinator, said that a certification event happens every year, usually in eastern Montana. Bringing it west this year drew in handlers and dogs from several western states and Canada to the event that was held June 24-26.

Master trainers came from as far away as Georgia, Iowa and Pennsylvania to work with dogs and their handlers in a wide range of scenarios. More than 40 handlers attended, from many agencies, with some even bringing more than one dog.

Montana Highway Patrol brought 11 dogs while Billings Police Department brought three. Polson and Ronan were each represented with one dog and one handler.

“People in town were asking us where all these cops and dogs came from,” laughed Sciaretta.

One scenario dogs and handlers trained in was an active shooter situation, including bite training.

“The mindset is not that we put less value on our canine partners’ lives, but there’s a very good chance that we can save human life if we can send in a canine partner, because of their speed,” Sciaretta said. “I dare anybody to try to outrun my Max [his Belgian Malinois canine partner].”

Max and Sciaretta serve as the only narcotics team in Lake County. They received training searching for narcotics in school lockers and classrooms, among other places. “It was nice to have someone else putting out training aids to test us,” he said. The two have been together 5 1/2 years, since Max was a pup. Working with a canine “actually brings an aspect of fun into the job.”

Canine/handler teams also trained to find explosives in schools, and search and rescue teams trained to find cadavers and cadaver parts in places such as vehicles, buildings, and even water.

“This came off very well,” Sciaretta said. “All the dogs got certified. If dogs were struggling, master trainers worked with the handlers and dogs. Without a doubt, we all got more confidence.”

Sciaretta expressed gratitude for community resources made available.

“This would not have been even possible if it wasn’t for the Polson School Board offering us the entire high school and middle school premises, and the Fairgrounds allowing us to use their facilities as well. I think they understand this is all about public safety.”

Print Article

Read More Front Page Slider

Montana has its own version of wine country

July 18, 2019 at 11:53 am | Lake County Leader Editor’s Note: This is the first feature story of a two-part series Sometimes it takes a bit of a fanatic to make something big happen. For making Montana into a producer of excellent wines a...

Comments

Read More

The Fair is Coming; The Fair is Coming

July 18, 2019 at 11:51 am | Lake County Leader With the Lake County Fair set to kick off Saturday, July 20 and continuing through July 27th, 4-Hers from throughout Lake County are busy putting the final touches on their projects. FFA members a...

Comments

Read More

Everything but snow at the Amish auction

July 18, 2019 at 11:50 am | Lake County Leader Antiques and collectibles, farm equipment, tools, guns, household items, hay, furniture, quilts, sheds, even a house — just about anything you might need or want could be found at the Mission Valley ...

Comments

Read More

Night sky explodes with color in Fourth celebration

July 11, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Lake County Leader A band played as people from around the valley gathered along the east shore of the Flathead River in anticipation of the annual Polson 4th of July Fireworks display. The crowd patiently waited for...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 883-4343
PO BOX 1090
Polson, MT 59860

©2019 Lake County Leader Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X