TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Around 60 K-9s and their partners trained for water-related scenarios at Adventure Island on Tuesday.
Though the water park is closed for the season, its doors have opened for K-9 training for six years now.
Three different scenarios were set up for training, including a deep dive and the wave pool. A children’s area of the park was also opened for the K-9s to train.
Law enforcement from across the Tampa Bay area was present, as well as the military.
Corporal Ryan Flannigan with Tampa Police helps coordinate these trainings every year.
He said this kind of training is important for all aspects of a K-9’s duties, not just for when they need to jump into one of Florida’s ponds, lakes or swamps.
“It’s important also because even though this may be a water scenario, the dogs may encounter something on the street that they haven’t seen before,” he explained.
“And any obstacles like this that they’ve been a little apprehensive about going into and they’ve worked through it, that just builds these dogs up even more, so that when they do encounter these scenarios on the street, they’re ready for them.”
Sergeant Desiree Croteau, also with Tampa Police, agreed.
“We want to give our dogs the best opportunity to be successful in anything they encounter. Going into water, it will be familiar for them at that point, and it will be a win-win situation for them,” she said.
Those at Adventure Island are happy to help. Public Relations Manager Rebecca Romzek told 8 On Your Side the training event gets bigger every year.
She’s happy the park can help give back and the space can be utilized during the offseason.
“These K9 units do such great work in our community. We want to make sure they are getting all those different circumstances to experiment in and learn from when they’re here at our park,” Romzek said.