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Readers of the Statesman Journal woke up this morning to meet Salem Police Officer Sean Cooper and his canine partner, Cito.

The team patrols parts of North Salem and comes to the aid of other officers searching for hiding suspects throughout the city. They also were on hand to meet the public when the Salem Police Foundation featured the department’s K-9 unit Feb. 29 at Breakfast with the Chief.

Cooper is an 18-year law-enforcement veteran who grew up in Salem-Keizer and graduated from McNary High School and Western Oregon University. Cito is a three-year-old German shepherd from the Czech Republic. When he’s not on the prowl for bad guys, Cito “acts like a gentle puppy,” Cooper said.

Cooper offered tips for local residents who happen to encounter police K-9s during backyard searches:

  • “For your safetey, please try not to distract the officer or the dog while we are searching,” he said.
  • Concerned citizens should call the Salem Police non-emergency line, 503-588-6123, to ask about police activities.
  • “People can minimize their chances of being victims by keeping doors and windows locked and never leaving any valuables inside their vehicles, whether hidden or in plain sight,” Cooper said.

Read the entire article here.

Photo of Officer Cooper and Cito courtesy of Salem Police Department

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