Meet Officer Trigo and Duke:
A K-9 officer and his dog are a 24-hour a day package. Where you usually only see your coworkers 8 hours a day, this co-worker becomes family. Because of this, there is a deep level of trust between a handler and his canine partner. They become a work buddy, play buddy, and family member all wrapped up in one.
Meet Officer Trigo and his furry crime stopper, Duke. Officer Trigo has been in the K-9 unit for 11 years, serving alongside Duke for 2 of those. Growing up in a rough part of town and witnessing a lot of bad things happen, Trigo credits his grandparents, who raised him, for teaching him right from wrong. When asked what made him want to become a police officer, Trigo said that “a lot of the things I was seeing were wrong and when the police would come in a lot of people would be scared and for some reason, I wasn’t. I knew, man that’s something- this man, woman, they’re putting themselves in a situation where they’re helping other people.” Trigo is honored that people call when they need help in the worst times of their life. This is what drew him to the police force. He also enjoys the tactics, training, skills, and meeting new people.
A friend of Trigo’s actually introduced him to the way police dogs worked and got him interested in the K-9 unit. They used to work together on the west side of San Antonio and Trigo was fascinated by “how much better his skills were getting, how much more he could go on to the streets, get the narcotics off the streets, and get the bad guys off the streets with the use of the dog.”
Officer Trigo’s favorite part about the K-9 unit in particular is being able to help other officers find something that they couldn’t otherwise find on their own. “We’re a specialized unit so that gives us specialized tools, like the dog and specialized training. Our brother officers call us when they need help and that makes me feel good. They know that something is there and something could be found with a little extra help and we’re able to provide that help for them,” said Trigo.
Duke is Trigo’s right-hand man on these kinds of searches. He protects him every time they come across a bad guy. Trigo explained that “when we’re on a patrol search, and using our K-9, it’s like the most dangerous game of hide and seek. When you’re a kid and you’re the one hiding you knew exactly where that person looking for you was and they know exactly your movements. So, every time this dog gives us a heads up like boom- bad guy bad guy – because we don’t know where the bad guy is.” Trigo and Duke do not know if people hide because they’re scared, have weapons, or are wanting to do harm to somebody else, so it’s always a huge help to have additional heightened senses on your side.
Every Wednesday is training day for Trigo and his other four-legged friends. This weekly training keeps them sharp on their skills. When Trigo and Duke are not saving the day, they like to play ball. Officer Trigo said that he tries to keep Duke as entertained as he can because that creates a greater bond between the two of them. When Duke sees Officer Trigo, he knows something fun is about to happen and instantly gets excited. Officer Trigo and Duke are an important part of the success and safety of the San Antonio Police Department, and they are both very proud of that.