San Benito police trains new drug dog Greg

·2 min read

Jul. 23—SAN BENITO — Raised in Chicago, his nose for sniffing out trouble landed him a job with the police department there.

After two years in the big city, he's joining the San Benito Police Department, where he is out to take a bite out of crime.

Greg, a 4-year-old Belgian malinois, becomes the department's latest recruit — the new police dog on the beat.

"He's getting to know everyone," Police Chief Mario Perea said Tuesday. "He's curious."

Changing jobs

Before leaving the big city, the Chicago Police Department assigned Greg to a new law enforcement job.

When the Cook County Sheriff's Department wanted to turn him over to a Brownsville dog breeder, Chicago officials pushed to keep him working the police beat.

So Perea gave him a job with the department, where Chuy, the 12-year-old German Shepard that he trained for police work, is getting ready to retire.

"We're looking at retirement," Perea said of Chuy, the dog he trained 10 years ago. "Generally dogs retire at the 10-year mark."

Training

Monday was Greg's first day on job.

In Chicago, he earned his certification in narcotics detection and tracking.

"They have certain characteristics," Perea said, referring to Greg's keen instincts.

Now, Brownsville-based D1 Security and Investigations is training him along with officer Rendell Stensbury, who department officials picked to become the new dog handler.

After their month-long course, Greg and Stensbury are planning to take the national Dogs for Law Enforcement certification course.

"It's going great," Stensbury, who took a job with the department in 2019 after four years with the Marines, said, referring to the training sessions.

"He's getting along great," he said. "The dog has wonderful talents and attributes. He's a very bright dog — super-talented. He listens to all the commands right away. He's able to detect the contraband. He can detect the odor. Now we're training in detection of narcotics in vehicles and open areas as well as tracking individuals. He's great at tracking. He can pick up odor. He can detect odor of an article and track that person."

New Partners

Soon, Greg and Stensbury will be working as a team — and likely living together, Perea said.

"He's super friendly," Stensbury said. "I feel a canine will be a great asset to the community. There are wonderful things dogs can do. If I had a dog with me, I could do my job better."