‘Decoy’ has gnawing desire to work with TMC K9 Crime Prevention team

Monty Watt TMC Security Officer

Monty Watt
TMC Security Officer

TMC Security Officer Monty Watt is a self-described “adrenaline junkie,” who loves nothing more than getting decked out in a suit that makes him look like the Michelin Man, and taking a bite from a 100-pound K9 – one of TMC Security’s highly trained dogs. Sure, it may not be for most of us, but Watt says he was hooked the first time he did it. 

“It’s a lot like being at an amusement park.  It’s a little scary since you don’t know what’s going to happen, or how the dog is going to react, but since you’re in the suit, you get the confidence to confront the dog because you know that you’re not going to get hurt,” he said.

Watt hopes to become a K9 handler in the future.  TMC currently has two K9 teams.  TMC Security Supervisor, Crime Prevention, K9 Unit, Jim Myers, is the handler for Ax, a 6-year-old Czech Shepherd.  Officer Cisco Montoya has Orbe, a 5-year-old Czech Shepherd.  Montoya also got hooked the first time he did decoy work.  Years of showing interest in the program and volunteering his time paid off when he was promoted to K9 officer.  Watt hopes for the same result.  His enthusiasm and dedication – he’s been a decoy for five years – will certainly look favorable if the hospital decides to fund another K9 team.  “At 42 years old, I don’t see myself working for a regular police department, and I plan on staying at TMC long term, so I want to be part of TMC’s elite security force,” he said.

TMC Security Officer Monty Watt at a K9 training session

TMC Security Officer Monty Watt at a K9 training session

Decoy training is done five to six times a month as part of the dogs’ maintenance training.  “It’s always a different scenario, and is done in different locations or buildings.  We try to make the experience as real as possible,” said Myers.  “It helps keep their skills sharp.” 

That’s especially important considering these dogs typically have fewer opportunities to go after suspects in real life, like other law enforcement K9’s do.  “In the history of the Crime Prevention Program, we’ve only had one suspect who received a bite.  We need to make sure our dogs can do what they’ve been trained to do.  We need them to always be ready to perform,” said Myers.  

In addition to working on these dogs’ physical skills, they’re also working on their mental game.  “There is a right and a wrong way to be a decoy,” explained Watt.  “The right way is to let the dog feel like he’s won so that he is confident of himself in a real situation.”

Comments

  1. So you feel the need to sick K9 units on sick people at a hospital. You people think that you are real police but you are just glorified security guards that know nothing of the constitution. You will hear much more from this grievous militarization of a place that is supposed to heal not harm

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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