February 12, 2016- Washington State residents visiting San Francisco for the Super Bowl got a pleasant surprise when they ran into two Washington State Patrol K-9 handlers and their explosive detection dogs.
Homeland Security Divisions’ Sergeant Darrell Hash and Trooper Mike Walstad spent two weeks patrolling the streets of San Francisco with their K-9’s Vacy and York. The Troopers main role was to provide security around the Bay Area’s Rapid Transit. They were part of multi-agency law enforcement team made up of officers from across the country.
Seahawk fans couldn’t help but notice the WSP emblem and wanted to take pictures with the Troopers and their SUV. Trooper Walstad said he had the opportunity to interact with many Washington residents and was able to answer their questions. In all, Trooper Walstad called the experience, “very rewarding.” A highlight for Walstad was an interaction with former Super Bowl Champion and Washington Redskins Quarterback Joe Theismann who wanted to learn more about the WSP. While Trooper Walstad wasn’t able to get the former Pro Bowler Theismann to commit, he did recruit another man to apply to the agency.
Both handlers worked long shifts while in the Bay area. “We were there to serve and protect,” says Sergeant Hash who added “there wasn’t any time for sightseeing.”
In case you were wondering, the handlers were located 45 minutes away from the football stadium and ended up watching the big game back at their hotel rooms.