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K-9 units double the duty

This series of day-in-the-life of stories provides a candid look behind the scenes of the Boulder City police officers who protect and serve Boulder City.

Thanksgiving week has past and today is Christmas Eve, in a few short hours Boulder City residents and families across Nevada will be awakening to the dawn of Christmas Day in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the Thanksgiving week, households enjoyed small gatherings and celebrations keeping in accordance with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s request for Nevadans to stay at home.

While everyone enjoyed good food and drinks, watched holiday movies and relaxed at home with family, on our local streets the men and women of the Boulder City Police Department were out and about ensuring everyone’s safety. What’s really nice to know is that BCPD has one of the most dedicated and highly skilled K-9 bureaus, comprised of two expert handlers: officers Alan Nutzman and Armando Salazar, who lead well-trained canines named Luna and Lloyd.

The K-9 units work together and in tandem as two-partner teams, Nutzman and Luna (K9-1), Salazar and Lloyd (K9-2). All four of these officers train continuously to ensure that when the need arises for their specialized services, the need will be met above and beyond expectations of department standards.

The K-9 units work the streets and highways in and surrounding Boulder City enforcing the laws, responding to 911 calls for service just as the regular patrol units do daily. They initiate routine traffic stops, sometimes writing equally as many traffic tickets and provide effective backup when other units request assistance.

When there’s a need for their specialized services, such as detecting narcotics or explosives, searching a building or area for a suspect, conducting a venue security check or they’re activated for a search and rescue mission, these units respond within seconds of a call for service going out with “boots and paws on the ground” ready to go to work.

BCPD K-9 units are rooted in community service, providing valuable education to our children and the general public. They assist and participate in events throughout Boulder City annually, like National Night Out. The units are also sometimes called to assist other jurisdictions and agencies throughout Southern Nevada.

Both officers are caring and dedicated public servants, your neighbors and persons you can be proud to call friend.

With officer Nutzman of K9-1 behind the wheel and leash, Luna at her partner’s side, this unit has conducted a remarkable number of traffic stops in past months resulting in the arrest of several wanted/dangerous individuals. I’m not sure if it’s just his many years of training, intuition as an experienced veteran law enforcement officer, that leads him to these encounters or that he and Luna might have a pair of crime-fighting crusader capes hidden in the back of their patrol unit that transform them into BCPD’s dynamic duo in the dark of night. But whatever it is, Boulder City is very fortunate to have them serving and protecting its community.

K9-1 also conducted other great traffic stops, ridding our streets of drunken drivers, unlicensed drivers, as well as vehicles that were being driven unregistered, stolen or with suspended and/or revoked registration statuses.

A few weeks ago, he assisted a young woman who was in emotional crisis, found in the street dancing about wildly, narrowly missing being struck by passing cars. Dispatch received the call and radioed units to respond to the area, with K9-1 arriving on scene swiftly. Using skilled intervention techniques, caring compassion and observing COVID precautions, K9-1 was able to bring the situation under control and, with the assistance of fellow officers, returned this individual safely back to her hotel.

Boulder City is most fortunate to have outstanding individuals like officer Alan Nutzman, who put on that uniform and badge daily to do a job that is dangerous, more than often met with a lack of respect and undeserved criticism.

Thank you for all that you do to keep our community safe, BCPD K-9 units. You are appreciated.

Everyone, when you’re out and about town during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, if you happen to see the K-9 units, remember it’s OK to stop and say “thank you.”

Aly Rashaad is a dispatcher in Southern Nevada. She served as the director of fundraising and marketing for the LASD Road Racing Association for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which provided the NASCAR and positive leadership experience to at-risk inner-city youth. She can be reached at Alys.View@ymail.com.

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