Camden County welcomes first female K9 handler

CAMDEN COUNTY, NJ (WTXF) For the first time, the Camden County Police Department has a female K9 handler.

On Friday, the agency introduced Officer Gabrielle Camacho, who is in the K9 Academy, and her dog Peyton, who is being trained in narcotics detection.

“This is a historic day for the department, the city and this decorated unit,” said Freeholder Susan Shin-Angulo. “I hope this will be one of many other announcements to come for female officers branching out into other male-dominated roles.”

Also, the American Humane Society donated five body armor dog vests for the department’s canine officers. They normally cost $2,100 each.

According to the department, dogs have played a critical role in law enforcement since 1869, when they were first employed by the Metropolitan Police of London.

In the U.S., our four-legged friends have been assisting law enforcement in a variety of different ways, from bomb sniffing to search and rescue, for more than 100 years.

These days, the CCPD employs eight K9 officers. All were dual-trained at the academy for a variety of different purposes.

“Not only does the unit make a real difference to law enforcement in Camden City, they are also our best ambassadors in the classrooms,” Shin-Angulo said. “These animals make our department a better law enforcement agency and we will continue to deploy them in a variety of ways in order to make residents feel safe and reduce the number of crime victims.”

Officer Camacho has worked for the department for more than two years. She was most recently a detective and has also been with the neighborhood response unit.

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