Local Police Dogs Get High Marks During Trials Competition

K9s from Temecula, Murrieta and Lake Elsinore showed their mettle during the Nov. 3 event.

For a police dog, 65-pound Tessa is a little on the small side and she’s got a high-pitched ladylike bark that seems so sweet.

But make no mistake: You don’t want to tangle with this girl.

Tessa, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, was one of nearly 50 California law enforcement K9 teams that turned out for the 17th Annual Riverside Sheriff Association K9 Trials presented at the Villa Portofino Clubhouse in Palm Desert Nov. 3.

The event included law enforcement canines from Murrieta and Temecula, as well as Tessa, who serves alongside deputies in Lake Elsinore and Wildomar. [Read more about Tessa’s training and lifestyle here.]

“During the competition, handlers and their canine partners negotiated a series of challenges common to the use of police service dogs. Some of the challenges included the detection of narcotics, handler protection and canine obedience,” said Sgt. Vic Trevino.

The panel of judges were police canine trainers based on the West Coast and Nevada, the sergeant explained.

Officer James Smith and canine partner Nero of the Oceanside Police Department took home the Top Dog award for Saturday's Patrol Competition, but Southwest Riverside County K9s also ranked high.

Below is the list of all the Riverside Sheriff Association K9 Trials winners, including those from local law enforcement agencies:

Top Dog

James Smith / K9 Nero – Oceanside PD

Overall Novice

1. Richard Fransik / K9 Whiskey – RSO Perris
2. Sean Lawler / K9 King – Murrieta PD
3. Anis Trabelsi / K9 Maximus – Oceanside PD
4. Kevin Brooks / K9 Ivan – RSO Moreno Valley
5. Jay Elliot / K9 Kazan – Murrieta PD

Overall Open

1. Zach McWaters / K9 Nero – Ontario PD
2. James Jones / K9 Rico – Bakersfield PD
3. Matthew Saidlemann / K9 Arras – RSO Jurupa Valley
4. Fernando Paniagua / K9 Hektor – Baja State Police
5. Matt Cramer / K9 Rudy – RSO Temecula


1. Joe Green / K9 Flak – Dos Palos PD
2. Pat Long / K9 Niko – Hemet PD
3. Barry Mann / K9 Scar – Dos Palos PD
4. Matthew Allert / K9 Acts – RSO Palm Desert County
5. Josh Darcus / K9 CoraLee – White Settlement PD, Texas


1. Trojo Cabrera / K9 Ciro – Policia Mexicali
2. Joe Green / K9 Flak – Dos Palos PD
3. Jeff Hurd / K9 Baron – RSO Hemet
4. Pat Long / K9 Niko – Hemet PD
5. Saul Arguello / K9 Lazkert – Policia Mexicali

Area Search

1. Heath Noyes / K9 Spike – RSO Jurupa Valley
2. Chuck Compton / K9 Jango – Rialto PD
3. Joe Maltese / K9 Smokey – Rialto PD
4. Steve Rivera / K9 Van Snapp – RSO Palm Desert
5. Derek Maddox / K9 Rosco – Hemet PD

Building Search

1. Joe Maltese / K9 Smokey – Rialto PD
2. John Sanchez / K9 Rossi – Kern County Probation
3. Steve Rivera / K9 Van Snapp – RSO Palm Desert
4. Carlos Gutierrez / K9 Lycan – Orange PD
5. John Monges / K9 Ringo – RSO Thermal


1. Justin Breen / K9 Kimo – Rialto PD
2. Glen Anderson / K9 Gilley – Rialto PD
3. Kari Cranfill / K9 Tessa – RSO Lake Elsinore
4. Heath Noyes / K9 Spike – RSO Jurupa Valley
5. Josh Darcus / K9 CoraLee – White Settlement PD, Texas

Evidence Search

1. Sean Lawlor / K9 King – Murrieta PD
2. Steve Rivera / K9 Van Snapp – RSO Palm Desert
3. Norbert Moll / K9 Tara – Murrieta PD
4. Zach McWaters / K9 Nero – Ontario PD
5. Matthew Allert / K9 Acts – RSO Palm Desert County

Area Narcotics

1. Zach McWaters / K9 Nero – Ontario PD
2. Norbert Moll / K9 Tara – Murrieta PD
3. James Jones / K9 Rico – Bakersfield PD
4. Trojo Cabrera / K9 Ciro – Policia Mexicali
5. Chuck Compton / K9 Jango – Rialto PD

Vehicle Narcotics

1. Jason Santistevan / K9 Ozzi – RSO Moreno Valley
2. Richard Fransik / K9 Whiskey – RSO Perris
3. James Jones / K9 Rico – Bakersfield PD
4. Fernando Paniagua / K9 Hektor – Baja State Police
5. Juan Salcido / K9 Rush – RSO SIB

Parcel Narcotics

1. Jason Santistevan / K9 Ozzi – RSO Moreno Valley
2. Matthew Saidleman / K9 Arras – RSO Jurupa Valley
3. Kevin Brooks / K9 Ivan – RSO Moreno Valley
4. Kari Cranfill / K9 Tessa – RSO Lake Elsinore 5.
Glen Anderson / K9 Gilley – Rialto PD

Overall Narcotics

1. Trevor Cullen / K9 Argo – Orange PD
2. Jeff Hurd / K9 Baron – RSO Hemet
3. Chad Staat / K9 Astin – RSO Temecula
4. Saul Arguello / K9 Lazkert – Policia Mexicali
5. Bret Cisneros / K9 Zuki – RSO Corrections

dick weed November 08, 2012 at 02:02 PM
amen, been saying that for a few years now, myself, i think police are not supposed to be military anyway, but they sure look like it these days and SS thugs are what they are becoming, or have become ? as well as are goverment
Luka November 08, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Thomas Jefferson once said: When the people fear the government, that's tyranny; when the government fears the people, that's freedom
tom November 08, 2012 at 02:44 PM
You two should get together and design better uniforms and a alternative to dogs.
TVOR November 08, 2012 at 05:16 PM
For god sakes people! Dogs are a great tool for protecting your rights because they are many times more accurate at detecting drugs (or determining there are no drugs) than humans. Would you rather be shot than subdued by a dog? The cops have restrictive guidelines for how dogs are used.
BLUESGUITAR777 November 08, 2012 at 05:29 PM
I COMPLETELY agree with your comment. Unfortunately in our day and age the police have become nearly untouchable. You get tasered, beaten down and arrested just for looking at an officer wrong. It's despicable. On top of that our laws highly benefit and protect offenders as opposed to victims. You have to jump through hoops just to get a concealed carry permit (sorry I thought the 2nd Amendment covered that, silly me...) and if, God forbid, you get put into a position where you have to open fire on a criminal you face possible criminal charges yourself. Then if you manage to prove yourself justified in the killing (self defense) you face possible civil lawsuits. It's a total joke. Our justice system needs a complete overhaul. This country is so a$$ backwards right now. I love the Oathkeepers. I follow you guys and back you 100% so thank you.
Fatneck November 08, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Congrats to all your hard work! Great job Bret and Zuki! It's Brent!
Ben Thinkin November 08, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Wake and bake much Tbone? The clothing is meant to be functional not fashionable, too bad that it scares you. Their intimidating physical appearance/presence is designed to convince you to comply without the need for physical force. The K9 and other tools (hands, batons, pepper spray, tazer) are there for people too stupid to comply. If you do happen to witness what you feel is excessive use of force, be the best witness and bring the information to the authorities, or the 6 o'clock news. Try to interfere with any law enforcement in the performance of their duties and you will get your feelings hurt.
Sew Good November 08, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Your writing skills leave much to be desired, but I think I understand what you are trying to say. I don't agree with your point, however, because as an upright citizen I never have to fear an officer taking me down and tazing me. I never put myself in a situation that would warrant aggression from an officer. You get tazered, beaten and arrested for looking at an officer wrong? Really? I think only a criminal suspect, someone who is guilty of something, would feel that way.
BLUESGUITAR777 November 08, 2012 at 06:18 PM
My writing skills leave much to be desired? Are you joking? Learn English and perhaps it might make a bit more sense. Just because you stay in your house and never break the law doesn't mean that there aren't instances of police injustices going on. Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Your response was overtly critical, self-righteous and was devoid of any real meaning. Come back at me when you've acquired an education.
Temecula Jay November 08, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Very well said, Ben. I agree 100%. People not breaking the law have no chance whatsoever of getting abused by the police. Showing respect garners respect back, especially when it comes to law enforcement. I'd like to know where Tbone is hanging out where police abuse is such a concern. Tbone's argument is asinine and all the grammatical mistakes really make him sound uneducated and hard to take seriously.
Tbone November 08, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Ok let me repost to what I said this earlier.First off Ben I voted against the marijuana ballot for ca .Second it is a shame to see Co passed it .America is getting worse by the minute and it is sad . I have nothing to fear from the police because I belive in the law with out it we would be a society of anarchy .But their has to be a measure put in place to were ,If an officer which wr have seen abuses a suspect even after the suspect cooperates with the officer . But the officer decides to use unreasonable force .We as citizens should be inpowered to stop it .With the fact you better have a damm good reason on why you interfeared . But to allow officers to abuse citizens because they can thats wrong .so before you put worfs in my mouth Ben dont quote me .
Tbone November 08, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Second no one ever said Ben that they need to interfear with officers while doing their job .I remember when the police would drive down our streets pull over and we would ask if he could turn his lights and sirens on .We would listen to the officer tell us stories about catching bad people .He would let us talk on the loud mic .We as kids loved it .We knew most of the police when we were kids .Now they only get involved if a crime is happening .Why dont they do that anymore for the young kids.But Ben no one eversaid attack anyone so why would you twist my words .
Tbone November 08, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Sorry if my grammer is off .But its hard to write on these phpnes
Brenda November 08, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Love that Luka and a perfect time to post it. Have to say we took good overall stats, then we were not mentioned in much else until we get down to narcotics, and then again we are right up on top. I wonder why? LOL....opps not funny, just continues to show that Temecula is NOT what it once was. With new blood in our chairs our drug problems would have been hit head on, our traffic issues also, and our millions we do NOT have in the bank would have been found. Alas, we wait another few years to get the ole chair warmers out, as crime, drugs, vehicle accidents, drunks continue to grow and death and crime rises.
Tbone November 08, 2012 at 08:10 PM
So tben what you say Temecula Joy is that its ok to assault a person or suspect under the color of authority . You say respect funny . Then I am not speaking for myself but things I have witnessed .An officer pulls over a vehicle lets just say an everyday person. No criminal record but then here comes the question .Do you mind if I search your car if your a criminal then start worring .But if your not and you decide to inforce your 4th amendment right by saying no .Then why does the officer get mad .He should respect it .
Tbone November 08, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Lets say this what if a person non criminal is walking down the street walking ok .He might be taking random pictures and an officer stops him mind you never ben introuble with the law evr .The officer asks him for id .The person knowing his rights asks am I being detained and am I free to go .But then oh my this innocent person knows his rights that cant be. Then the officer gets agitated and mad .Should not the officer let him go and respect his constitutional rights .Oh but they swore an Oath to God himself . Im not saying all cops are evil .But one bad apple makes em all look bad.How about that.
Brenda November 08, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Tbone, as much as I wanted to say what the hell are you talking about etc. etc. I think I got the jist of it. When I was a kid yes the local cops did have time for things like you are talking about, the sirens, lights, talking in general. Because there was much less crime, much less people doing crime and kids were actually interested. Now kids after hearing how parents talk about the lazy cops, or cops that beat up people when no one is watching, or let their police dogs take a few extra bites out of a suspect when no one is watching, kids are scared of the cops!!! Now, does that make sense to you.? You, from reading your posts, slam the cops saying they beat up people, then in your last sentences wonder why they don't hang out in the neighborhoods and talk to the kids? Now how do you think YOUR kids feel about police? If myself, or my kids over the years have engaged officer's in a conversation they are very nice, talkative and do all the things you say they don't do anymore. But, we engage them nicely and I would never talk badly about them in front of my kids or make such false accusations against them as you are. We have a German Shephard who flunked Police dog training, 40lbs at 4 months old they knew he would be too large, he is 125lbs since he was about a year and a half. Officers see us walking with him and they stop and talk quite a while, especially K-9's. Then kids gather. If cops are treated badly for so long dont expect them to turn on their lights.
Brenda November 08, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Congratulations on all of our Officers and their pooches for scoring high and taking home some wins!!! Keep up the great work!
Tbone November 08, 2012 at 08:27 PM
So in these two stories its black and white do you enforce your oath or decide to abuse it . Because if you dont let them go and defy your oath you will be held in contempt with God as your judge .An oath to God is your word to God himself and to him your soul will answer .So do you respect the persons rights or violate them .
Tbone November 08, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Ok good point but to your answer never .I dont want my kids to fear the cops .I like my parents they should be respected and yes a few cops make them all look bad .But it is also more so being a public servant to show the kids as well as the community that they are not the demons that the media makes them out to be .This is our community .You bring a community together by having the police getting out into neighborhoods and getting to know the kids .Then when things happen these same people that once feared you will now know .you .Isnt that worth more then just being portrade as a thug.
Brenda November 08, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Tbone, The officers do go out to the schools for career days, bring all the bells and whistles and also open houses at the stations and bring out even bigger things like the dogs, and helicopters. Its our job to take the kids there and take the tours of the stations, see the dogs and see they are nice except for when they are going after a "bad" guy. I used to take my kids all the time growing up, and I usually helped at the ones at their schools. With todays officers, they are usually getting one call after another here in Temecula, and the close Cities. Having had officers out for one thing or another in the past its hit and run for them seriously. Our last issue was someone parked directly blocking our driveway and we could not get our cars out for an hour and a half. Took, a while for him to get here as we were not a emergency of course, and then he had one call after another the whole time he was here. How he was handling all that going on I do not know. But he stayed nice, and I gave the owner of the car my three cents. We had another reason to call, cant remember now, but he had to leave as one of our bank robberies happened as he was here. I am like, go go go get out of here, LOL. So, we are short of officers, high on crime, crashes, fights, runaway kids, drugs, DUI's, etc. But, when they do have extra few minutes they will chit chat and even take a soda if you offer it. They are definately NOT thugs.
Tbone November 08, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Wow a different side of the picture . Nice posting with you and thanks .
Brenda November 08, 2012 at 10:38 PM
You too Tbone :) Have a happy day.
tom November 09, 2012 at 01:05 PM
That's the deference between police and contract deputies. No familiar faces no relationships no obligation to the city. It use to be community oriented policing.
Brenda November 09, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Tom I would like to see if "they" would confirm that to us. If the deputies are rotated out to Riverside Sheriff, then back to Temecula PD, some answers as to how that is scheduled. On many instances I see familiar officers and have for a few years now. It does make it nicer and we do form relationships as do the kids. Maybe I am just lucky and see the same officers over and over again. :)


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