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Mill Creek’s K9 Team receives Narcotic Detection Team certification

K9 Bagira and Officer Nathan Lerma. Photo courtesy of City of Mill Creek.
K9 Bagira and Officer Nathan Lerma. Photo courtesy of City of Mill Creek.

From a City of Mill Creek news release.

Mill Creek Police Department’s K9 version 2.0 achieved its latest benchmark on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. The team of K9 Bagira and Officer Nathan Lerma were certified as a narcotic detection team; attaining 100 percent proficiency in the detection of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. 

Steve Gardner, an assessor from the Washington State Patrol, certified the Mill Creek K9 team to both Washington Administrative Code 139-05-915 standards as well as standards established by the California Narcotics Canine Association. 

“The CNCA is a recognized nationwide leader in drug detection and certifying to these standards demonstrates our team’s proficiency,” said Mill Creek Police Chief Greg Elwin. 

The training consisted of 200 hours of classroom and practical applications provided by Code 4 Canine LLC in Centralia.

Lerma and Bagira are the first K9 team for the City of Mill Creek to be a dual purpose team. This means they can detect narcotics, as well as track, locate, and apprehend suspects and any evidence the suspect may leave behind.

“Officer Lerma and K9 Bagira look forward to returning to Mill Creek and putting their new skills to work,” said Elwin.

The K9 team returns to service in Mill Creek from training on June 30th.

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