GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Eleven Gwinnett County Police K-9 officers reported for training this afternoon at Lake Lanier.

“We try to do more advanced training, and expose the dogs to helicopters, to the boats, to advanced scenario-based training,” said Corporal Aaron Carlyle with the Gwinnett County Police Department.

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This advanced training is done once a year, and it includes teaching the dogs to catch decoys posed as suspects. K-9 officers also help with finding missing people.

“We also train with our Fire and Rescue on a regular basis with doing ladder trucks, where we might have a suspect on a rooftop,” Carlyle said.

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Officers say the K9’s think the boat rides are fun and games, but they’re training for some serious missions. “We make it fun for the dog, so the dog wants to go forth and do this type of training, and then when deployments come, the dog sees this and knows, ‘Hey, I’ve seen this before, I’ve seen this site picture, I’m ready to go do my work,'” explained Carlyle.

Just like any police work, the K-9’s job has its risks, and some pay the ultimate sacrifice, like K9 Blue. He was killed in the line of duty earlier this month. It’s a reality the dedicated handlers face every day.

“They have to trust in their training, and trust in their dog, and trust that the dog will get the job done that needs to be done,” Carlyle said.

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Both the handlers and their K-9’s are willing to risk their lives to protect and serve.