The RPD's First K-9 Team Officer Loren Mitchell and his partner Pal

It was in September 1958 that Officer Loren Mitchell conceived the idea of training a dog for use in police work. He shared his idea with Chief of Police Jack Bennett and the chief approved an experimental program with Officer Mitchell heading it up.

Mitchell met with Riverside resident and owner/trainer of the famous TV and movie K-9 Rin-Tin-Tin, Lee Duncan. Duncan gave Mitchell a dog from Rin-Tin-Tin's lineage and encouraged him to train him and treat him well.

Rin-Tin-Tin with his owner and friend, Lee Duncan

Pal worked on the streets with Michell for about a year doing great work but fearing lawsuits, the City Council decided not to fund the program.

The pioneering work of Officer Loren Mitchell led to the development of today's K-9 unit which has become an important and life-saving asset to the officers of the Riverside Police Department.

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