K9 Fine-Tunes Crime Sniffing Skills

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DES MOINES, Iowa — One of Des Moines’ top dogs is training to sniff out crime with his partners.

Titan, a K9 with the Des Moines Police Department, is coming up on his one-year anniversary.

“It was a little tense for the first few weeks, but now it’s like an old hat,” said handler Tony Ballantini.

We caught up with Ballantini and Titan a year ago while they were at a police dog academy in Evansville, Indiana. The pair hit the streets of Des Moines in May 2014.

The patrol K9 is used to track suspects and missing people, locate drugs, and protect his partner. During his first year on the job, the police dog has apprehended suspects without any bites.

“As an intimidation factor, he’s second to none,” said Ballantini.

Titan is a work hound. He’s on guard every minute of his ten-hour shift.

Ballantini said he needs to fine-tune his nose and learn to focus all of his energy on the task at hand, but he’s still proud of his progress.

“He has transformed tremendously since school,” he said.

Titan is one of seven K9’s in Des Moines. In addition to patrol dogs, the department has specially trained drug and bomb dogs.


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