A Lompoc Police Department K-9 officer and his partner secured a top-three finish in a recent law enforcement competition in Las Vegas.

Officers Steve Delauretis and K-9 Bolt competed against 35 other law enforcement agencies Saturday and Sunday in the Las Vegas Metro Police Department's annual K-9 Trial. Delauretis and Bolt, a German shepherd, finished third in the Tactical Obedience competition.

“The Lompoc Police Department would like to congratulate Officer Delauretis and K-9 Bolt for their outstanding performance in competition and thank them for representing the Lompoc Police Department and the community,” read a statement released Thursday by the Lompoc Police Department.

The contest, which is in its 24th year, featured K-9 teams from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, as well as some from other Southern California cities, Utah, Nevada and Mexico.

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During the Tactical Obedience event, the competing K-9s are challenged with a range of obedience tasks. In one of the tasks, for example, the handler sends his or her K-9 partner to engage with an agitator, and the K-9 handler must call the dog off before it fully engages. Points are given based on where the K-9 stops.

This report was prepared by Willis Jacobson. He can be reached at wjacobson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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