News, Highlights & Video archive


9 July 2021


Seal Beach, CA – The Seal Beach Police Department is introducing a new four-legged
member to their ranks with the introduction of a new police canine unit.

For the first time in almost 40 years, the Seal Beach Police Department will have its
very own police K-9 unit helping to protect the community. “A police K-9 is an incredibly
important tool that we can use to address crime in Seal Beach,” said Chief of Police,
Philip L. Gonshak. “The police service dog is a force multiplier and is instrumental in
building searches, article searches, and apprehensions.”

The last official Seal Beach Police K-9 unit went into service and ended in the mid-
1980s. Since then, the Seal Beach Police Department has relied on neighboring police
departments to provide K-9 services when needed. By re-implementing a K-9 program
within the Seal Beach Police Department, response times where a K-9 was needed
before will be reduced. In turn, this will allow officers to get back into service and be
available for other emergency calls.

Officer Victor Ruiz and K-9 Saurus

In 2020, the Seal Beach Police Department took steps to reestablish the K-9 Unit by
selecting its first K-9 handler, Officer Victor Ruiz. Officer Ruiz has been a police officer
for nearly eight years, three of which have been with the Seal Beach Police Department.
Officer Ruiz holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fullerton and
lives locally with his wife and young son.

Officer Ruiz’s new partner is Saurus, a 14-month-old German Shephard. Saurus was
trained by Gold Coast K9 located in Ventura, California. Officer Ruiz and Saurus spent
several weeks in training where they learned to conduct building searches, apprehend
fleeing felons, and assist in overcoming the resistance of violent subjects. These skills
are especially important as they reduce the risk and injury to police officers and the
community. Officer Ruiz also received training on case law, use of force, de-escalation
tactics, community-oriented policing, and bias-based policing.

Saurus has also been trained to detect firearms. This important tool will help ensure
that if a suspect attempts to conceal or discard a firearm, the dangerous weapon is not
left for an innocent person, child, or other criminal to locate.

The purchase of the K-9, equipment, and all associated training costs were paid for via
a generous donation by the Seal Beach Police Foundation. “This has been a
community effort to return this worthwhile program back to the Seal Beach Police
Department,” said Chief Gonshak. “It would not have been possible without the support
of Mayor Joe Kalmick, Mayor Pro Tem Varipapa, Council Member Sandra Massa-Lavitt,
Council Member Schelly Sustarsic, Council Member Thomas Moore, City Manager Jill
Ingram, and the generous donation from the Seal Beach Police Foundation.”

For more information about the Seal Beach Police Department and the K-9 Unit, please
follow us on social media @sealbeachpolice.


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