Officer Luis Lovato - Aldo

My name is Luis Lovato. My partner is Aldo, a tan colored purebred Belgian Malinois born in June 2009 and imported from Holland. It is critical that young police dog candidates possess the highest levels of drive, energy, and stamina so we will search the globe to find the right dog. Fortunately, we have a tremendous group of private sponsors who understand the value of our service dogs and who help us underwrite some of the expenses that go beyond government means. I struck gold with Aldo. He has everything a K9 handler could ask for ...and sometimes I think he even has more than enough! Aldo was only 18 months old when we first became partners. He has a very serious demeanor at work but he loves to play like a puppy when he is at home.

I began my law enforcement career with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office as a Protective Service Officer in September 2002. I became a Deputy Sheriff in January 2003. I have been very privileged to work in a wide variety of assignments so far in my career. I joined the Community Orientated Policing Unit and I later became a Detective in the Kearns Investigations Unit. I held an additional position on the SWAT team for eight years. As a SWAT Operator, I advanced to the positions of Team Leader, Chemical Munitions Operator, Firearms Instructor, and Field Training Officer. I have also served on the Board for selecting and processing new police recruits.

In 2009, I was selected by the K9 Unit to train and handle an Improvised Explosive Device (bomb) detector dog. My partner was Onyx, a two-year-old female Black Labrador. I certified her as an IED dog in December 2008.

In December 2010 I became a full-time K9 handler in the Special Operations Division. This fulfilled my dream and also the goal that I had set for myself when I first became a police officer. Now I get my work done through an animal! That is a challenge that most police officers will never experience. It turns out to be a very amazing and satisfying experience to see that Aldo, along with his K9 colleagues, can and accomplish what no other police tool can. This is one police “technology” that, instead of becoming obsolete during the 125 years that it has been in use, has become increasingly valuable as an instrument of public safety. I clearly understand when Aldo is doing his work, that I am indeed a steward for one of the most important disciplines in law enforcement today. 

Aldo and I are certified at an international level. We also hold a National Police Canine Association (NPCA) certification in criminal apprehension. Aldo has an impressive “street” resume. He has located and captured several violent felons in his short career and is responsible for taking a substantial quantity of illegal drugs off of our streets and out of our communities.

Aldo is also very competitive. I am proud to take every opportunity to demonstrate through police K9 competitive events that, even though my dog is as highly driven as any Malinois in the industry, as a professional K9 trainer and handler I am able to harness and manage those drives. This allows Aldo and me to work the streets as an effective and safe team. We understand each other. Aldo knows that my expectations of him are very high but additionally he knows that he will be paid very nicely for doing his work the way that I want it done.

I am honored to say that Aldo is a winner. He played an integral part on our Team as we won 1st UPOA K9 trials and 3rd Trials. Aldo’s trophy shelf also displays many other awards and it will continue to expand.

Aldo loves to be a police dog and a public servant. His work ethic is incredible. He would work 24/7 if I allowed it. When I dress for work, he runs around the house in pure excitement and anticipation. Aldo shares my home with my two children and me. He knows when he is off-duty, acting like a normal pet. He definitely changes gears when we leave for work by immediately becoming very vigilant and ready for his next opportunity to deploy. At the end of his watch he enjoys dinner and then climbs into bed for some relaxing ear scratching before retiring to his own bed for a nice snooze on his favorite pillow. The following afternoon he keenly awaits the return of my sons from school knowing that he can coax them into some ball-play and some family time until its time for work again.