Vacant Sutter Memorial Hosptial Used For K-9 Training

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SACRAMENTO --

Police K-9 teams from the area took advantage of the decommissioned Sutter Memorial Hospital to set up training scenarios not possible at regular training sites.

The hospital, once the premier maternity hospital in the region, has seven floors and various challenges for police dogs and their handlers.

"It's unprecedented," said Sgt. Josh Dobson, a K-9 officer with the Sacramento City Police Department, which organized the training session.

"Having a 500,000-square-foot facility like this wide open for our dogs to work in is something like we've never had before, not since I've been here," Dobson said.

Dobson said he was able to set up eight to 10 training scenarios on different floors and in different areas so teams could search for suspects, drugs and explosives.

Sutter Health systems said they jumped at the chance to make the abandoned hospital available.

"They can practice techniques and learn new techniques...it's just a way for us to live our not for profit community based mission," said Keri Thomas, director of community and government relations for Sutter Health Valley Area.

Sutter Memorial was closed last year when a new Sutter hospital was completed in Sacramento.

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