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Raton police dog, Aros, retires with honors

RATON, NM — Aros, the Raton Police Department’s 10-year old patrol and narcotics police dog was retired with honors last month. Aros, a Dutch native, was obtained and initially trained by Adlerhorst International, Riverside, Calif., but suffered an inauspicious start to his career after being shipped back to the training center from his first assignment at a Utah police department because they did not like his demeanor. But the quirk Utah police saw in Aros’ personality did not come into play in his new assignment in New Mexico. When he arrived in Raton, RPD Officer Cory Coca put on a bite suit and Aros went to work. At that first meeting, Aros left his mark on the young officer, biting him on the rump and arm. Wearing the protective bite suit, Coca was not hurt, but the pair, man and dog, became fast friends and efficient police partners almost immediately. Aros was certified in patrol operations along with his human partner in July 2007 and a month later Aros was certified as a drug detection K9 at Alderhorst’s California training facility. During his active service, Aros was used in patrol and narcotics operations, completing numerous searches for criminal suspects, building searches, tracking and detaining fleeing suspects, and even working with Coca in crowd control. In his career a number of fleeing suspects gave up without incident at the sight and sound of a trained police dog. The RPD reports a dozen suspects did not exercise that option and were physically apprehended by Aros. Aros was utilized by a variety of other law enforcement agencies including the DEA, New Mexico State Police, Motor Transportation Department, the Colfax County Sheriff’s Office, and the probation and parole department. While Aros worked hard detecting illegal narcotics and the odors of drugs on currency, he also demonstrated his search abilities and patrol techniques with Coca at local schools. Aros underwent evaluations each quarter during his 7 1/2 – year career with the RPD and was recertified seven times in patrol and narcotics operations detection. The police department said in an April 20 press release, “that even as he aged Aros always passed his recertifications with flying colors.” The department went on to say in the press release, “Aros exceeded all expectations during his service with the Raton Police Department. Aros was always ready and willing to work, day or night, rain or shine. Aros’ biggest asset to the police department was the ability to use his nose to find people, narcotics or currency. Aros could search those unknown places where subjects could not be seen by our officers, or his handler, thereby reducing the risk to officers and their safety.”