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City of Tracy gives canine to Ceres as replacement
$7,500 in savings
small k9a
Roky with his soon-to-be former handler Erik Speaks in Tracy. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

After eight years of service Tyson the Ceres Police Department canine, is retiring. His departure was going to leave the department one canine shy and the city was prepared to spend $7,500 to replace him for the next fiscal year.

That's when the city of Tracy, which is downsizing its canine force because of a lack of a handler due to a reassignment, offered up Roky, a five-year-old Belgium Malinois, to Ceres for a buck. The dog is fully trained in narcotics detection and apprehension.

"It's good for us," said Ceres Police Chief Brent Smith. "You can't just give a police dog away to anybody."

Ceres Police have four canines, which allows for a canine working around the clock, seven days a week.

"Ron Cloward, who is the owner and trainer at Top Dog Police K-9, has conveyed high praise of canine Roky and believes he would be a good fit for our canine unit and the Ceres Police Department," said Ceres Police Department spokesman Lt. Chris Perry in a memo to the Ceres City Council. Councilmembers approved the agreement at last week's council meeting.

Tyson, which is handled by Officer Julio Amador, is about nine years old and nearing the end of his service as a police canine. Amador is awaiting an assignment as a detective once additional officers are hired. Lt. Perry said at his age, Tyson would not be a good candidate to be placed with a new handler. The city approved an agreement to sell Tyson to Amador for $1 "to enjoy his retirement in the comfort of his current home with Officer Amador," said Lt. Perry, which is a common practice in most police organizations.

Roky, who has been with Tracy Police canine handler Erik Speaks, will be given a few weeks of bonding with his new handler, Dan Graziose, before he is placed on the job. Graziose came to Ceres Police Department in 2015 from the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department where he was a canine officer.