Avery is a 3-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever who recently joined the University Police Department as the school’s first Detection Dog. Long Beach is the sixth CSU campus to acquire a detection dog such as Avery, who is assigned the task of sniffing explosives only. Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo have two dogs – one for explosives and one for drug detection. She is expected to help reduce time and cost associated with detection of suspected explosives and provide a few smiles. According to Lt. Rick Goodwin, Avery’s training took 3-4 months, after which she earned her police badge/vest. She will continue her highly technical training from handler, Sgt. Ray Gonzalez, as types of explosives continually change.
“Notice her vest… the goal of training is that when the vest is on, it’s all business. When the vest is off, Avery will know ‘I can play with these students.’ It’s another cue to learning.”
Students can also expect to see Avery on campus throughout the year in her secondary role – goodwill ambassador. Conoley said the dog will provide valuable public relations outreach to the community at events like SOAR and Safety Talks, and perhaps even visit student groups and housing, just to “get students aware that there is this extra level of protection for them.”