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July 5, 2011 > Benny: friend and security at Southland Mall

Benny: friend and security at Southland Mall

Submitted By Sheryl Craig

Everyone loves Benny, Southland Mall's official security K-9. He is no ordinary dog. The four-year-old purebred German shepherd has the important job of enhancing security at Southland Mall and providing an additional level of comfort for customers who visit the center.

Benny's partner is John Dluzak, Regional K-9 Handler for IPC International Corp, which works in conjunction with Southland Mall's security department. Dluzak is a former police officer from Colorado and was a military police officer in the United States Army.

Together Benny and John underwent an intense training academy program and the two have been together working as partners since October 2010. Prior to this, Benny started his training at age 2 in Holland as a service dog.

Benny's patrol includes detection sweeps where he walks through the common and service areas of the mall looking for suspicious things/persons. As an ambassador to Southland Mall, Benny attends special events such as visiting the children who are in line to see the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. He also attends Neighborhood Watch meetings at Southland Mall where the Hayward Police Department updates the community on what is going on in the city. When he isn't patrolling inside the mall, Benny rides in a marked K-9 SUV that features a built-in computer and kennel for Benny.

Adored by customers, especially the kids, Benny is very outgoing and social. He loves to pose for photos with shoppers and their families, and often ends up on customers' Facebook pages. Customers are encouraged to speak with Benny and to pet him. If shoppers bring Benny a treat, they must offer him dog specific snacks like milk bones.

Facts about Benny:
Started working at Southland Mall in November 2010
Pure-bred German Shepherd with black and tan coloring
Birthday is December 1, 2006
Weighs 80 pounds
Born in Holland
Likes to go to the park and chase rabbits
Favorite toy is a tennis ball
Has his own trading card that children collect

For more information, hours, and a store directory, please call our Shopper Line at (510) 782-3527 or visit our website at www.southlandmall.com. iPhone and Android phone users can obtain daily updates on mall sales, events and restaurant information, real-time navigation of the mall, access to exclusive promotions, instant-win games and more by downloading a free application through the App Store or Android Market by searching The Club Shopping Mall Guide. Follow Southland Mall on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/southlandmall and Twitter athttp://twitter.com/shopsouthlandmall.

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