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San Ramon LogoPolice Canine Unit (K-9)


The Canine Unit was established to supplement police operations by locating and apprehending criminal offenders and locating illegal narcotics and explosives. The dogs superior sense of smell, hearing and potential aggressiveness, makes the trained law enforcement K-9 a valuable supplement to officers in the street.

Utilizing a K-9 requires procedures that properly control the dogs potential use of force and channel their specialized capabilities into crime prevention and control. Each handler is trained in the tactical application of his/her dog prior to being active on the street. The handler assists in creating plans of action for effective canine use, which is based upon the immediate circumstances of a situation.

The San Ramon Police Department’s Canine Program began in 2003 with one K-9, Dar (he retired in March 2013). The Department realized the value of this additional resource and expanded the present program to three K-9 officers.

Officer Bruce and K9 Bongo

Officer Chris Bruce and his K-9 partner "Bongo"

K-9 Bongo is a male German Shepherd originally from the Raad Van Kennel club in Amsterdam. Bongo is a Schutzhund Level III trained dog. All of his commands are in Dutch.

Officer Bruce and Bongo became partners in June 2010. He was purchased from the same kennel in Riverside, California as Dar (retired) and was paid for through community donations.


Officer Al Molien and "Hector"

Officer Al Molien and his K-9 partner "Hector"

Hector is a 3-year-old male German Shepherd originally from Burback, Germany. His commands are given in German.

Officer Molien was partnered with Hector in July 2012. Hector’s name comes from Greek mythology, where his namesake was a Trojan prince and the greatest fighter for Troy in the Trojan War.

The K-9 was purchased with community donations from the same Riverside kennel as Bongo and Dar (retired).

Officer Abe Medina and

Officer Abe Medina and his K-9 partner "Senna"

San Ramon’s newest K-9 is Senna, a 4-year-old female Belgian Malinois. She was born in the Netherlands and her commands are given in Dutch.

Officer Medina and Senna became partners in May 2013. Senna started out a bit older than most new K-9s because she originally competed as a certified sporting dog.

She was purchased with community donations from the same Riverside kennel as Bongo, Hector and Dar (retired).

K-9 Dar retired in March 2013Officer Echelmeier and K9 Dar

Officer Marty Echelmeier and his K-9 partner “Dar"

Dar, the department's first K-9, retired on March 4, 2013. The 12-year-old German Shepherd spent a decade patrolling San Ramon with Officer Echelmeier. At the time of his retirement, Dar was the oldest working law enforcement dog in Contra Costa County.

He was born in the Czech-Republic and was purchased with federal grant money from a Riverside kennel in 2003.

During his career, Dar had 127 deployments resulting in Felony Arrests; 40 resulting in the apprehension of wanted subjects; seven which resulted in either arrests or article locations resulting in murder convictions and 176 deployments resulting in narcotic finds, the largest being 55-pounds of methamphetamine buried 5-feet underground. He also located 23 lost children or elderly people suffering from dementia.

Officer Echelmeier continues working in Patrol for the City of San Ramon Police Department.


The K-9's are assigned to their handlers 24 hours a day, which means the dogs live with their officer and the officer's family. This strengthens the bond between the K-9 and their handler and it also allows for a quicker response to emergencies if they are requested while off-duty.

The K-9's each received over 320 hours of initial training prior to working. Weekly and daily training is a must, as they have to pass strict annual P.O.S.T. certification standards. The dogs must obey their handlers without hesitation and be able to work under the most trying and adverse conditions.

The K-9's are specifically trained in tracking and trailing fleeing felons and lost children or adults. They have the ability to locate discarded articles and can detect the odor of narcotics. K-9s are particularly efficient in searching large fields or buildings for hiding suspects and they can enter small areas that officers may not be able to access. They are also very useful in high risk situations such as vehicle pursuits that often lead to foot chases where a K-9's speed and tracking ability are put to the test.

Everyday, the K-9 teams are requested for area searches and narcotic searches throughout the City of San Ramon and Contra Costa County.

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2401 Crow Canyon Rd, San Ramon, CA 94583 | Map | Phone (925) 973-2700 | After Hours Non-emergency Dispatch (925) 973-2779