Watch CBS News

Coconut Creek PD to host competition for highly trained police dogs

Coconut Creek PD to host competition for highly trained police dogs
Coconut Creek PD to host competition for highly trained police dogs 02:45

MIAMI - Our furry friends protecting the streets take the field next week, chasing the ultimate prize: A K-9 Super Bowl Crown.  

Beginning March 19th, the Coconut Creek Police Department will be hosting the United States Police Canine Association's Region One Field Trials.

CBS4 visited the Coconut Creek Police K-9 Unit to see how our hometown heroes prepare for the ulti-mutt test.

"He's the rookie," K-9 officer Justin Capaldi shared about one of the rising stars of the competition. "He's full of spunk and excitement."

Coconut Creek Police K-9 Max is head over "heels," ready to leave his mark on his competitors. The two-year-old star will compete in an obedience event simulating chasing a suspect on the run. 

"Our dogs are trained to bite and hold until we're there," said K-9 officer Rocco Favata, Max's partner. "We have to be able to demonstrate our abilities to recall our dog at a distance of 54 feet or further."

CBS4 saw the intensity and focus from Max on the proving grounds.

"This is great," said Favata of his partner's focus.  "I never want my dog to take eyes off the decoy."

It's one of many events testing agility and obedience.  Over 50 teams from different police units from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama will come to Coconut Creek to compete for the crown starting next week.

"If they take a bathroom break on the field, they deduct points," added Capaldi.  "That's a two-point," he mentioned, pointing to a potty break on the field.

Capaldi's partner is the leader of the pack, Titus.  Anything is paw-sible with the crafty veteran.

"He has to look into my eyes, and that's when we can start," said Capaldi on how they begin drills.

Titus is an expert in obedience drills, sure to pile up points.

The third member of this five-dog team representing Coconut Creek Police, Lucky.  His partner, K-9 officer Brian Valenti, leads the box hunt drill.

"Simulates a building search," added Valenti.  "He locates the correct door.  Gets to find the bad guy."  "Their noses are extremely strong.  They pick everything up."

And Lucky found the hidden officer in the box. 

Valenti says all this training serves a greater purpose beyond this fun event.

"If he doesn't listen to us here, he will never listen to us on the street," said Valenti.

Lucky, Titus, and Max are ready to "Ruff Up" the competition and win the BOWL! 

And Titus is set to retire from competition after this year's event.  But before he hangs up the leash, he left us a card, reading: "To CBS, Love Titus Capaldi." 

You can watch Titus and the Coconut Creek Police K-9 Unit compete for free at Coral Glades High School Stadium on March 23rd, beginning at 6 pm.  You'll see all the teams compete and much more!

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.