The San Bernardino Police Department proudly welcomed its first female police canine on Monday, June 1.

K-9 Bella was born in the Netherlands and is a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois. She is a single purpose canine trained in the detection of illegal narcotics.

The San Bernardino Police Department K-9 Unit was established in 1978 and has consisted of working breeds to include German shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Labrador retrievers, Irish wolfhounds and American bloodhounds. In all, there have been 33 police service dogs who have served the San Bernardino community.

Due to the high costs for female canines and temperaments for breeding, police agencies tend to lean toward male breeds over female breeds, but K-9 Bella is here, and she is ready to serve San Bernardino.

K-9 Bella and her handler have completed the state-required 120 hours narcotic detection training course, and she was certified on Friday, June 19. In that course, she was safely imprinted to genuine and replica odors of various illegal narcotics. She has been assigned to the Narcotics Unit and will reside with her handler and his family when they are off duty.

On the evening of her graduation, she assisted officers with a stop and located illegal drugs and recovered currency.

“This was a great evening for K-9 Bella, as she already started her career with a find on her first shift,” Investigations Captain Adam Affrunti said. “I know she will be a great asset to our department and a huge benefit to our community.”

The San Bernardino Police K-9 Unit is funded entirely by private donations. If you would like to contribute to the unit, please visit the San Bernardino Police Foundation website for further details at or by email at

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