Indiana trooper and police dog win top spot at national K-9-team competition

VERSAILLES, Ind. - After a 2-day dog-eat-dog competition, an Indiana State Police trooper and his K-9 partner took home a few shiny trophies.

While the competition wasn't literally "dog eat dog," the Indiana team still won out with top honors against tough competition. Senior ISP Trooper Chris Richey of the Versailles District and his K-9 partner, Rayner, were named "Top Overall K-9 Team" at the recent competition in Rock Island, Tenn.

Richey's been a K-9 handler for 8 years. He and Rayner have been a team since October of 2012.

The pair competed against roughly 25 other law enforcement K-9 teams from Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Oklahoma in the event this past Wednesday and Thursday.

Teams competed in two categories: patrol and narcotics. Richey and Rayner were No. 1 in the patrol category and No. 2 in narcotics, placing them as the top overall team.

There were slight differences between the two judging categories, Richey said. The patrol competition was judged on tactics, officer safety, proper K-9 deployment, speed and accuracy. Meanwhile, the narcotics competition was judged on accuracy, speed and overall effectiveness as a team.

Richey said it was a win-win for his team.

"Although this was a competition, it was also a time to network with other agencies and K-9 handlers from other parts of the country," Richey said. "It was a great venue to learn other officers' tactics and hopefully pass on to younger officers what I have learned in my 8 years as a K-9 handler."

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