Newest Addition to Idaho State Police: Bingo
Jerome, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Idaho State Police is welcoming a new addition to the team.
Idaho State Police has decided to start up its canine program again.
The first unit is stationed right here in the Magic Valley.
Bingo is the name of the dog...or 'B' for short.
He's the newest addition to the Idaho State Police force.
Bingo's handler, Trooper Steve Otto says, "Bingo's done very well...since we are a new team, we just certified less than a month ago."
Bingo and his handler make up the only k–9 unit for the entire Idaho State Police force.
They're stationed at the District 4 office in Jerome.
"For right now, since he's such a new canine, we're trying to establish good statistics here in our district since he is stationed at District 4" says Trp. Otto.
The requirement to have a certified canine in the State of Idaho is 16 hours of training a month. Trooper Otto prefers to put Bingo through an hour of training per day.
Trp. Otto explains, "They're not just a pet. They're a tool that needs work constantly. We have to work with the dog on and off duty."
Trooper Otto and Bingo had to go through months of training before passing their certification.
"The process was actually rather lengthy," says Trp. Otto.
Bingo is only certified to find narcotics, so he won't be chasing down any bad guys.. But he will be busting them.
Trp. Otto tells us, "If an officer believes there may be drugs based on his training and experience...they'll call me out. I'm on call 24/7 so whenever they need me, I will go to their location and I will deploy my canine."
But Bingo isn't just a dog to Trp. Otto.
Trp. Otto adds, "The canine handler and the canine itself have to get along very well obviously or else it's not going to work so well."
A new team helping fight crime in the Gem State.
The canine program is currently a pilot.
It is funded through a federal grant and not through taxpayer dollars.
If Bingo and Trp. Otto are successful, the Idaho State Police will look at establishing more canine units throughout the state.
If you're wondering, Bingo is a Golden Retriever/Labrador mix.