Law and Order
K-9 instructor completes third mission
Juan Trujillo said he has always considered his role as “protector” at the very core of his character. That may be why this Fielding resident decided to become a police officer 12 years ago. That is also the likely reasoning behind his choice to serve as a police instructor and K-9 handler in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past five years.
Trujillo returned in November from his third police mission abroad, working as a K-9 officer at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, employment he took in early 2010. He left behind his wife Amy and four children, the youngest just four years old.
His job there included working with a four-legged partner, a German shepherd named Buddy, an “explosive detection dog with a good nose.” The position was not a military one, although the job is sponsored by the State Department.
But Afghanistan was not Trujillo’s first mission, nor his first assignment as a police officer. He began his law enforcement career with the Ogden Police Department, where he worked as a hostage negotiator and also received K-9 certification. Trujillo said he heard about the opportunity to work in Iraq, and he had a strong desire to go. Applicants needed five years of experience, however, and he only had three. He later transferred to the Box Elder Sheriff’s Office and worked with officer Rico, another German shepherd officer.
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