The Las Vegas Monorail has several Police K9 teams that ensure the safety and security of our guests. You can find them out on the system, or at the stations, whenever we’re open.
Officer Kalin Smith has been working for the Las Vegas Monorail for several years. His police canine, Rony, has been by his side for the last year-and-a-half. The two are one impressive team. We caught up with the dynamic duo during one of their patrols to find out what it takes to become a police canine.
Say hello to Rony!
Rony is a six-year-old German Shepard and was born in Germany. Yes, a German Shepard, from Germany. Who would guess? Officer Smith explains how he speaks to Rony in German saying, “He’s all Dutch command. He’s obedience trained in German and [is] actually bilingual. He also [responds to] hand signals.” Officer Smith learned German commands so they could effectively communicate.
So how did Rony end up in Las Vegas? Well, let’s just say he’s not here on vacation like so many of our visitors. Rony was bred, selected and trained to become a police canine dog for the Las Vegas Monorail.
Training begins at six weeks old and usually lasts for two years. First, canine police dogs have to learn the basics, called obedience training. Think of this as elementary school, but for police dogs. Once a canine has completed their obedience training, they begin scent training.
There are two types of scent detection: explosives and narcotics. Rony specializes in explosives detection. He has also been trained for police patrol work. Rony is able to do article recovery, detailed searches, tracking, and bike work. As Officer Smith tells us, “He’s highly skilled.”
No need to convince us, Officer, we’re definitely impressed!
Speaking of Officers…
Some police canines work with the same officer their whole lives, others will work with several officers. When a new officer and canine are paired up, it takes several weeks for that bond to build. Officer Smiths says, “You start figuring each other out. They start listening more and more. Once you build the bond, they just want to please.”
It’s not hard to see that Rony and Officer Smith enjoy working together—they definitely have a special bond. Officer Smith lets us in on a little secret; Rony’s favorite thing is a red rubber ball. Officer Smith carries it around in his pocket and when Rony does a good job, he gets to play with it. Sometimes they take a break and play a little fetch.
We asked Officer Smith what a typical day looked like for the two of them and he gave us the run-down:
They conduct walk-throughs and searches of the stations and trains looking for anything out of the ordinary—any suspicious packages or unattended items. They respond to calls and assist our security staff as needed.
The two also provide our passengers with superior customer service. They can answer questions and give excellent directions. After all, with Rony’s super-nose he can smell the cupcakes at The Linq from just about anywhere.
It’s not all work for Rony. In fact, he’s not that different from your typical family pet. Every night, Officer Smith takes Rony home with him.
When he’s not working, Rony likes the same things all dogs do, “As soon as the uniform comes off, he’s just like any other dog—plays, lies around, follows me around the house. We go to the park, we play.” It sounds like Rony has his work-life balance figured out.
The next day Officer Smith puts on his uniform and Rony knows it’s time to go to work. They’re back on the Monorail, patrolling, keeping us safe and chatting with visitors.
Stop and say hello
Next time you’re out on the Monorail and you see one of our Police K9 teams, make sure to say hello or ask them a few questions. We can guarantee you will be as impressed as we are by these officers and their canine companions.
Need directions or assistance? Officer Smith and Rony can help. We also have security staff and customer service agents who can answer your questions.
Is there something you would like to know or learn about the Las Vegas Monorail? Contact us here. We love hearing from our readers and riders, so send us a note! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.