The Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley (HSSBV) is proud to announce the 2019 Pet Hero Award recipients, the San Bernardino Police Department (SBPD) K-9 Unit. The SBPD K-9 Unit will be honored at the HSSBV Walk for the Animals presented by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians at San Manuel Stadium (280 South E Street, San Bernardino) on Saturday, May 11, 2019.
The SBPD K-9 Unit was founded in 1979, and is comprised of five k-9 teams: Officer Sergio Alvarez with Canine Rambo; Officer Melissa Flint with Canine Bexter; Officer Christopher Emon with Canine Sarko, Corporal Jonathan Keil with Canine Rico; and Detective Jesus Vega with Maxwell. Officer Alvarez, Rambo, Officer Flint and Bexter are scheduled to appear at the event, accepting the awards for all of the SBPD K-9 unit teams.
Handler Officer Sergio Alvarez and Canine Rambo
Officer Alvarez joined the San Bernardino Police Department in 2016. He has worked assignments in patrol to include the south west district, north east district and north west district. Officer Alvarez is also a certified Spanish interpreter for the City of San Bernardino. He enjoys participating in community events and serving the City of San Bernardino. He was assigned to the K-9 Unit in 2018 when he selected his partner, Canine Rambo. Officer Alvarez and Canine Rambo are assigned to the south west patrol district. Rambo is a two-year-old, Dutch Malinois, who was born in Holland. Rambo is a dual purpose dog who is certified in patrol operations and explosives detection. In his off time, he enjoys spending time with the Alvarez Family.
Prior to joining the ranks of the San Bernardino Police Department, Officer Alvarez proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps, acquiring the rank of Corporal.
Handler Officer Melissa Flint and Canine Bexter
Officer Flint joined the San Bernardino Police Department in 2004. She has worked a variety of assignments to include: Community Inter-agency Training and Enforcement Team, Crime Impact Team, District Resource Officer, Field Training Officer, Taser and Defensive Tactics Instructor, and as a member of the Honor Guard Detail. Officer Flint’s career goal was to become a K-9 handler. She was assigned to the K-9 unit in 2016 when she selected her partner, Canine Bexter.
Officer Flint and Canine Bexter are assigned to the south west patrol district. Bexter is a three-year-old Dutch Malinois, who was born in Holland. In Bexter’s 2 years, he has located 9 suspects, had 14 surrenders and 3 apprehensions. Bexter has conducted approximately 150 narcotic searches, locating over $400,000 worth of narcotics. Bexter’s biggest find was 6 kilograms of Cocaine located inside a hidden engine compartment and 31 pounds of Methamphetamine located inside a vehicle trunk void.
Handler Officer Christopher Emon and Canine Sarko
Officer Emon joined the San Bernardino Police Department in 2003. He was assigned to the Field Training Program, where he trained several sworn and non-sworn employees. He also augments the Management Information Services and assists with streamlining report writing protocols. Officer Emon was assigned to the K-9 Unit in 2013 when he selected his partner, Canine Sarko.
Officer Emon and Canine Sarko are assigned to the north east patrol district. Rico is a seven-year-old Belgian Malinois, who was born in Belgium. Sarko is a dual purpose K-9 certified in patrol operations and narcotics detection. In Sarko’s 5 and a half years, he has been deployed over 450 times, locating 90 suspects, recovered 25 articles of evidence, responded to 1,000 burglary alarms, found over a million dollars in narcotics, and trained over 2,000 hours.
Handler Corporal Jonathan Keil and Canine Rico
Corporal Keil joined the San Bernardino Police Department in 2009. He has worked a variety of assignments to include: Field Training Officer, SWAT Team, and Mounted Enforcement Detail. Prior to applying with the agency, he was an SBPD Police Explorer for 7 years. Corporal Keil was assigned to the K-9 Unit in 2013 when he selected his partner, K-9 Rico.
Corporal Keil and Canine Rico are assigned to south east patrol district. Rico is a seven-year-old Dutch Malinois, who was born in Holland. Rico is a triple purpose K-9 certified in patrol operations, narcotics detection and SWAT tactics. In Rico’s 5 and a half years, he has been present in several high-risk incidents, including the terrorist attack on December 2, 2015. K-9 Rico has successfully apprehended 20 violent criminals, had nearly 90 surrenders, completed 600 patrol searches and located an excess of 1.6 million dollars’ worth of illegal narcotics.
Handler Detective Jesus Vega and Canine Maxwell
Detective Vega joined the San Bernardino Police Department in 2004. He has worked a variety of assignments to include: Field Training Officer, Crime Impact Team, Vice/Narcotics Program, Specialized Enforcement Team, and is a member of the Honor Guard Detail. Prior to applying with the agency, he was an SBPD Police Explorer for 4 years. In 2008 while assigned to the Vice/Narcotics Program, Detective Vega was assigned his first canine partner, Dexter. Dexter was a single purpose canine who was certified in narcotics detection. Dexter was retired as a police canine in January 2014.
Detective Vega and was assigned to the K-9 Unit in 2015 where he selected his partner, Canine Maxwell. Maxwell is a 6 and a half-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever. Maxwell is certified in the detection of Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana, and Methamphetamine.
We hope you will join us in honoring the SBPD K-9 Unit and all they do to keep our community safe. The HSSBV Walk for the Animals presented by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians will be held from 8:00 am – 11:30 am, with the Pet Hero presentation at 10:00 am. Scheduled to emcee this year’s Pet Hero Awards will be NBC4 Inland Empire Bureau Chief and Reporter, Tony Shin. Shin is an Emmy award-winning reporter, primarily covering stories originating from the Inland Empire. He can be seen on the NBC4 News at 11 a.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Attendance for this community event is free.