The Buzz: Four-legged protectors join CHP ranks

11/26/2013 12:00 AM

11/26/2013 7:41 AM

California gained some new four-legged protection on Friday when five German shepherds and their handlers graduated from a special course at the California Highway Patrol’s West Sacramento academy.

Four of the teams will be assigned to the Sacramento region. The fifth is heading to San Diego for patrol duty along the Mexican border. They join the ranks of more than 40 CHP canine teams statewide that, along with bomb detection, specialize in apprehending criminals or finding drugs.

The graduating dogs range in age from 18 months to 3 years. Their handlers have between eight and 17 years of CHP service.

To graduate, the dogs and their permanent handlers went through eight weeks of intensive training to detect explosives. The training regime met the tough requirements of the Peace Officer Standards and Training’s guidelines. The dogs also were exposed to a variety of situations they may encounter while on duty.

And the training doesn’t stop there. Each of the German shepherds now must complete eight hours of training a week.

It’s a dog’s life.

– Jon Ortiz

Health watch

California’s young children appear to be getting early introductions to the taste – and perhaps the perils – of fast food, according to a new study by UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research. The study found that 60percent of California’s children between the ages of 2 and 5 had eaten fast food at least once in the previous week. The results, researchers said, indicate that targeted messages are needed to persuade parents both to exert more control over their children’s diets and to make those diets healthier.

– Dan Walters

Worth repeating

“You got great food. You got great people, beautiful scenery – no more supervillains because Batkid cleaned up the streets. Love Batkid.”

President Barack Obama, talking up the celebrated 5-year-old caped crusader Monday at the Betty Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco

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