The city of Palm Desert created the Canine Officer (K9) position for in 2008. The K-9 is used to help with searches of missing or lost persons, to track criminal violators from crime scenes, to assist with fleeing or armed suspect arrests and in searches for evidence & narcotics. K-9’s are particularly useful in searches of buildings or residences for suspects, and to assist in vehicle or foot pursuits if immediately available. During these occasions, the K-9 can alleviate putting an officer in harm’s way, while making sure the violator is apprehended expeditiously.
Deputy Patrick Mushinskie and his partner, a three and a half year old blue Belgian Malonois named Rio currently serve the city of Palm Desert. Deputy Mushinskie has been a Deputy Sheriff for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for more than 10 years. Between June and August 2015, Deputy Mushinskie and Rio attended the Basic Canine and Basic Narcotic Detection courses at Adlerhorst International.
In addition to locating narcotics, evidence, and searching for suspects, Rio is a valuable ambassador to the citizens of Palm Desert. Deputy Mushinskie and Rio have participated in community presentations for the Desert Sands Unified School District, Palm Desert Safety Fair, Palm Desert Station tours and the annual Golf Cart Parade.