Pasadena police department’s new partners in fighting crime


After months of training alongside his partner Ryan Goetz, Charlie is officially a Pasadena Police Department officer.

The Belgian Malinois, who grew up in Slovakia, made his way to Pasadena, to join the Department’s busy K9 unit, which is comprised of five officers and five dogs. Including one floppy eared Springer Spaniel name “Chase”, who is the Department’s detective. 

The team handles narcotic cases, traffic stops, bomb sniffing and security detail at the Rose Bowl, Rose Parade and any other City event that requires the extra “muscle” these well-trained K9’s offer.

But like most rookies, the journey from new officer to a seasoned one, takes time, patience and a great partner.

For Charlie, this is Officer Goetz. His partner, handler and gatekeeper to his favorite chew toy.

Goetz, has been with PPD since 2015 where he has spent the last few years covering patrol, before he realized his next career step. He had already been working with the K9 unit as a decoy, which means he wore a protective suit that allowed the police dogs to attack him on command.

All for the good of proper training.

“I have spent the last year basically learning to be a really good “bad guy so the dogs would attack me,” Goetz said. “But it’s how I ended up here and working with Charlie. Everyone told me  when you started a career as a police officer, eventually you find your niche. Working with Charlie, feels like the right niche.”

By all accounts, the relationship Officer. Goetz and Charlie have is a typical one between a man and his dog.

Charlie can often be found chasing his tail in the backseat of the patrol car. Gnawing on his chew toy. Sleeping soundly in his kennel but always ready to go out to play.

Charlie a two year old Belgian Malinois is the new K9 for the Pasadena Police Department’s K9 unit, he is photographed on Friday September 6, 2019. (Photo by James Carbone)

Goetz on the other hand can always be found telling Charlie to “calm down” and “los”, which means let go in Dutch. Charlie also whines when he is left in the car and nothing excites him more than a chance to play with his chew toy.

The two of them can often be found at the Department’s helioport where Charlie can stretch his legs and run free on the green grass.

But the moment Officer. Goetz goes from playful to command mode, Charlie is right there with him.

Protective, fast, strong and with athletic abilities that remind Goetz that although his partner can act like a puppy, with ears and feet he is still growing into, Charlie is a trained K9 who understands his handler is in charge.

Not the other way around.

“Charlie is a 75-pound lap dog. He’s playful, rambunctious, high energy and his favorite toy is the patrol car. But he’s also agile, runs fast and I’ve seen him jump over a 6 Ft. cinder block wall like it was nothing” said Goetz. “But every day we go out there and we work on his specific skills and we keep training and working together. The more we train, the closer we get as partners.”

Charlie a two year old Belgian Malinois is the new K9 for the Pasadena Police Department’s K9 unit, Charlie takes a break after training exercise on Friday, September 6, 2019. (Photo by James Carbone)


Charlie a two year old Belgian Malinois is the new K9 for the Pasadena Police Department’s K9 unit, Charley practices training exercises on Friday, September 6, 2019. (Photo by James Carbone)