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Posted on August 22, 2017 at 9:17 AM by Communications Department
The Newport News Police Department currently has seven patrol canines: Jinx, Havoc, Klause, Halo, Amir, Tank and Elvis and two bloodhounds, Lacy and PJ. The patrol canines are a mix of Dutch Shepherds, Czech Shepherds and one Malinois mix. In order for the officer/handler to create a bond and be ready for a call-out-situation, all K-9’s live with their handlers.
The Newport News Police Department K-9 officers, along with their dogs, work with officers on patrol. The dogs are trained to protect the handler and other nearby officers, when needed. Through skillful training, they assist an officer even without being called. The dogs are extremely useful when searching buildings, fields, parks, etc. for fleeing or hiding suspects who are often armed. They can also be used to track the direction of travel of a fleeing suspect. Our two bloodhounds specialize in following a scent trail to find missing people such as children or people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The K-9 Unit also has dogs trained in specialties such as drug detection, explosive detection, and search and rescue.
The dogs offer significant advantages by being more efficient, quicker, and finding subjects without seeing or hearing them. Upon locating a subject, the K-9 barks to advise the handler of the find. One of the most important purposes of a police dog is to function as a deterrent. If strategically deployed, one trained K-9 team is comparable to approximately 10 police officers.
The department is currently working to recruit two additional K-9 officers and two additional K-9 dogs.
Last week the city learned of the passing of one of the retired K-9’s, Helo, who had joined the Newport News Police Department in 2005. Helo was a certified Patrol/Narcotics canine with the Virginia Police Work Dog Association and remained that way until his retirement last year. During his retirement, he lived with MPO Stewart and his family.
To keep up with news about the Newport News Police K-9 unit, follow them on their own Newport News Police K-9 Unit Facebook page.