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Apprentices build K-9 agility equipment

Apprentices from Carpenters Local 106 of Altoona, IA recently built new K-9 agility equipment for the Altoona Police Department.

Last September, after Ryan Companies began the $35 million expansion of the Altoona City Hall and Police Department putting both under the same roof, the Altoona Police Department contacted the Carpenters Training Institute (CTI) about building new agility equipment to train their K-9s. The Police Department recruited Lt. Todd Trobaugh and his K-9 to start a new unit. With no K-9 dogs on the force prior, this much-needed equipment had to be built in time for the officers to train their K-9s for certification at Iowa’s Regional Trials.

Instructors and apprentices in Altoona who worked on the K-9 training obstacles.

Terry Coombs, Ryan Companies Field Coordinator, brought good news at a recent hiring fair at the union hall, offering to donate thousands of dollars in supplies on behalf of Ryan Companies for the CTI to build the new agility equipment.

Specifications for Police K-9 agility training obstacles are established by the U.S. Police K-9 Association and are uniform across the country. The Altoona Police Department provided those details and list of supplies needed to build the obstacles for their training course. Carpenter apprentices went to work, building the course over two weeks as a part of their training curriculum.

An Altoona, IA police officer and his dog run through the training course made by the CTI.

“Ryan Companies’ generous donation is greatly appreciated for the advancement of our K9 program. The Carpenters Training Institute built this equipment so well. I really appreciate the quality of carpentry used in making the obstacles,” stated Lt. Todd Trobaugh.

The equipment delivery to the training site was a joint effort between the police department and training center staff. Training Instructor Jeff Weeks led the build at the Carpenter’s Training Institute as he has previous experience in building obstacles, most recently for the City of Des Moines K-9 program. In all, eight different vehicles with officers from multiple departments came out to the site to assist with delivery and set-up.

According to Lt. Trobaugh, the goal of the Altoona Police Department is to hold a national trial at their facility in the next 5-8 years. The trial could be more centrally located and would bring in over 200 dogs to compete.

Volunteers from the CTI and Altoona deliver and set up K-( obstacles in a field for training.