Law enforcement agencies throughout the world have long recognized the value of properly trained police service dogs. These animals, when appropriately utilized, have time and time again proved themselves instrumental in achieving the objectives and missions of the law enforcement agency. The police K-9, due to its strength, agility, courage, and amazing olfactory capabilities can be utilized to assist law enforcement in various tasks in a more thorough and efficient manner.
Because of these attributes, some police service dogs can be utilized to assist in searching for potentially violent criminals, aid in the apprehension of fleeing criminals who may place innocent community members or other police officers at risk of injury. The dogs also offer the department an effective public relations tool to disseminate information about the Police Department's mission, functions, and crime fighting efforts.
The Vernon Police Department K9 unit is a part of the patrol division. K9 officers are not only expected to answer their calls for service, they are also asked to perform various K9 duties. These new duties include, but are not limited to, criminal apprehension, tracking of suspects and/or missing persons, building searches, evidence recovery, narcotic detection, and any other task the team is capable of performing.
Over the past twenty years, the Vernon Police Department has had five officers that served the department with distinction:
OFC O'Gara with K9 Strider
OFC Foster with K9 Alex
OFC Kelley with K9 Astor
OFC Grady with K9 Covey and K9 Ivan
OFC Hatheway with K9 Jimmy and K9 Pito
Currently, there are two officers and one supervisor assigned to the K9 Unit:
OFC Hunt with K9 Narko
OFC Macaulay with K9 Pito
Fallen VPD K9 Memorial Page