Officer Fredy Ambriz (left) stands with his police K-9, Koda, as she is officially sworn in by Soledad Mayor Pro Tem Carla Strobridge during the Sept. 1 city council meeting. (Sean Roney/Staff)

SOLEDAD — Koda, a police canine, was officially sworn in as a member of the Soledad Police Department during the Sept. 1 meeting of Soledad City Council.

Koda has served with the department since May, but the recent return to in-person public meetings offered an opportunity to host a public swearing-in.

Mayor Pro Tem Carla Strobridge conducted the ceremony, reading out the oath of office while Koda sat atop a table and remained calm with all the attention focused on her.

Koda’s handler, Officer Fredy Ambriz, introduced Koda to the crowd before the ceremony.

“She’s got a lot of energy,” Ambriz said. “She’s 2 years old and certified in narcotics and firearms.”

While Koda has not found firearms yet, Ambriz said she has been able to locate methamphetamine, cocaine and some heroin. In addition to those three narcotics, Koda is also certified in ecstasy and marijuana.

“We appreciate your dedication,” Strobridge said to Ambriz. “I know that it’s a lot of responsibility. You incorporate the dog into your family. You take it home everyday. You take it on vacation.”

Ambriz added, “It’s been a good experience. I had to pretty much modify my schedules. It’s like having a kid.”

After the ceremony, Koda’s paw was inked for a certificate in lieu of a signature.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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