Jon And Chantel

UPD’s Police Dogs Look Exactly Like Their Handlers

They say after a while pets begin to look like their owners. The same is apparently true of police K9’s.

Today on the morning show we had former K9 handler Deputy Chief Chad Reyes for an AMA. Off-air, he told us about an awesome organization called The Friends For Unified Police K9 which helps raise money to buy things like bulletproof vests for K9 officers. 

As I scrolled through the organizations photo gallery of UPD police dogs, I started to notice something very strange… 


Just look at these animals: 

1) Officer Dustin Fowler & Animal

Officer Fowler has worked in Utah law enforcement since 2004 and his partner, a German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix named Animal, is practically his twin. 


2) Officer Jon Richey & Molly 

Officer Jon Richey is the head K9 Trainer for the Unified Police Department (UPD). His current partner is a bloodhound named Molly, specially trained to track cadaver scents. And they’re both pulling the exact same expression in their official headshot. 


3) Officer Scott Willberger & Loki

Scott Willberger began his law enforcement career as a correctional officer in 2004 and says that getting on to the K9 unit is nearly impossible. “In the UPD, less than 1.5% of sworn officers are able to get a position in the K9 Unit. I quickly saw that I was competing for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” His partner Loki is a purebred German Shepherd who came to Utah from Frankfurt, Germany in 2013. You don’t want these two to find you if you’re in trouble. Look how stern they are.

4) Officer Ben Ricks and Capone

After serving overseas in the military, Officer Ben Ricks discovered a passion for Law enforcement. He began in the K9 unit with a bomb-detecting dog named Baer who. But after a year, Baer left Officer Ricks for a better job: working on a cruise ship. It’s probably for the because because obviously he and his new partner, Capone, are much better suited. They’re both handsome blondes with the same smile.

5) Officer Luis Lovato & Aldo

Officer Lovato is a 16-year law enforcement veteran who, until recently patrolled Salt Lake County streets with his partner, Aldo. Sadly, Aldo was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2016. Lovato described Aldo as a hard-working public servant.

“Aldo loves to be a police dog and a public servant. His work ethic is incredible. He would work 24/7 if I allowed it. When I dress for work, he runs around the house in pure excitement and anticipation.”

RIP, Aldo! 


6) Deputy Chief Chad Reyes & Dingo

Deputy Chief Chad Reyes has been in law enforcement for 20 years. During our AMA, he talked about how his partner Dingo was not a pet, but a part of the family. Dingo could apprehend a criminal one moment, then crash on the couch with the Deputy Chief’s kids the next. 

Unfortunately, just a year after the department lost Aldo, Dingo was also killed. He chased down a fleeing suspect, but was a shot twice July of last year. 

We want to thank our K9 and human officers alike for keeping Utah a beautiful, safe place to live. And we sincerely hope that the tradition of pairing human officers with K9 doppelgängers continues for generations. 

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