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story.lead_photo.caption Texarkana, Arkansas, Police K-9 Officer Kashko' poses with several awards they won, including the Top Dog Award, at the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) Region 20 Canine certification and competition in Sherman, Texas, earlier this month. Photo by Submitted to the Texarkana Gazette / Texarkana Gazette.

Texarkana Arkansas Police K-9 Officer Tanner Freeman with K-9 'Kashko' won several awards, including the Top Dog Award, at the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) Region 20 Canine certification and competition in Sherman, Texas, earlier this month.

This certification tests all aspects of K-9 handling, including patrol functions and narcotics detection, which the handler and dog have to pass to continue working together at their law enforcement agency. In addition to certification, the handlers and their dogs compete against other teams within the region for placement in several categories, including the prestigious Overall Top Dog Award.

While attending the annual certification from April 18 April 21, Officer Freeman and K-9 "Kashko," a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, performed well above the recognized standard. The certification process is a weeklong testing and evaluation procedure that includes several areas of assessment. The competition had 12 canine teams. Freeman and Kashko placed within the top three in nearly every category and received Top Dog honors overall. This year was Officer Freeman and Kashko's 2nd regional trial and certification competition.

This year the K-9 team placed in the following categories:

1st in obedience

3rd in the article search

3rd in criminal apprehension

3rd in suspect search

5th in agility

2nd in narcotics detection

2nd in patrol

Top dog overall

When not backing other officers on high-priority police calls. Officer Freeman and Kashko are preparing for certification training or working on a special event like festivals or the fair. Officer Freeman and Kashko share their talents assisting other law enforcement officers and agencies who continually call upon the team to help with traffic stops, drug detection, lost, wanted, and escaped subjects.

The placement of Officer Tanner Freeman and 'Kashko' in these competitions is a testament to the quality of the K-9 Team maintained at the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department. Officer Tanner Freeman says, "I am blessed to have such a great partner to work with. Kashko makes work fun and enables me to assist other officers and agencies uniquely".

The quality of canine that the Texarkana, Arkansas Police Department has would not be possible without the unwavering support and assistance of the Texarkana community. Kashko, purchased with a grant provided by longtime resident and supporter Julia Mobley with Commercial National Bank. This assistance and encouragement from our community are invaluable to the success and accomplishments of Officer Freeman and Kashko.

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