Taking a bite out of crime

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Four men and four dogs are ready for duty after graduating from a 15-week K-9 unit training course offered by the Alexandria Police Department on June 8. 

Officers Steven Carr, Mark Wuckovich, Kyle Russel and Thorpe Lichtenbert enrolled in the basic K-9 school with their dogs, GKar, Rocco, Chance and Roxy, taking classes covering obedience, evidence recovery, suspect search, tracking, agility, criminal apprehension and building searches. 

The nine-member unit includes four German Shepherds, two Belgian Malinois and one Labrador Retriever. 

But its not for everyone. Officers pursuing a spot in the K-9 unit go through a rigorous selection process, said department spokeswoman Ashely Hildebrandt. 

The Alexandria canine division was established as the first of its kind in the metropolitan area in 1959.

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