K9 Unit Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary with 9 New Graduates

They did it!

After all those long nights of studying and hard work, these new four-legged Troopers can finally call themselves graduates…graduates of the 20th Explosive Detection Canine Handler Course that is.

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) is proud to announce the graduation of nine new explosive detection canines. This special ceremony will be held in Seattle on Friday, September 2nd, 2016.

The Washington State Patrol’s Canine Training Unit (which falls under the Homeland Security Division) started in 1996 with just two dogs…now 41 canines (34 explosive and 7 narcotic) walk and wag along the Patrol’s ranks. This year marks the WSP Canine Unit’s 20th anniversary— that’s 140 in dog years! The program has rapidly grown to become the largest of any local, county, or state law enforcement agency in the nation.

Five of these explosive detection K9s were trained by the Washington State Patrol under Trooper and Master Trainer Steve Gardner. Trooper Gardner has not only been with the WSP’s Homeland Security Division as a canine handler and trainer for 11 years, but is also trained and certified by the U.S. Border Patrol. These canines went through 12 weeks and 400+ hours of rigorous training (you can read all about it here: http://bit.ly/1SUZodd and http://bit.ly/1ZjZjOI).

The remaining four canines were trained by the United States Transportation Security Administration in San Antonio, Texas. This included 10 weeks of training and a three-day certification back in Washington State.

All nine of these dedicated, successful, and adorable canines are more than thrilled to be in the field. Learn all about our new graduates below!

 

 

Trooper Alishan Nomani and Buster
Breed: Lab, 3-years-old
Trained By: Washington State Patrol
Assignment: Kitsap County
Notes: Trooper Nomani is a new addition to Homeland Security. Buster is Trooper Nomani’s first canine.

 

 

Sergeant Lenny Crichton and Mitchell
Breed: Lab, 5-years-old
Trained By: Washington State Patrol
Assignment: Kitsap County
Notes: Sergeant Crichton has been assigned to the Homeland Security Division as a canine handler and supervisor for seven years. Mitchell is his second canine.

 

 

Sergeant Kerry Kintzley and Moss
Breed: Springer Spaniel, 1.5-years-old
Trained By: Washington State Patrol
Assignment: King County
Notes: Sergeant Kintzley has been assigned to the Homeland Security Division as a canine handler and supervisor for 12 years. Moss is his third canine.

 

 

Trooper Chris Cooper and Ralph
Breed: Springer Spaniel, 2-years-old
Trained By: Washington State Patrol
Assignment: King County
Notes: Trooper Cooper has been assigned to the Homeland Security Division as a canine handler for 11 years. Ralph is his third canine.

 

 

Trooper Matt Chatterton and Evie
Breed: Lab, 1.5-years-old
Trained By: Washington State Patrol
Assignment: King County
Notes: Trooper Chatterton has been assigned to the Homeland Security Division as a canine handler for 11 years. Evie is his third canine.

 

 

Trooper Walter Heilig and Rex
Breed: German Short Haired Pointer, 2-years-old
Trained By: Transportation Security Administration
Assignment: King County
Notes: Trooper Heilig has been assigned to the Homeland Security Division as a canine handler for seven years. Rex is his second canine.

 

 

Trooper Mike Allan and Frankie
Breed: Wire Haired Pointer, 2-years-old
Trained By: Transportation Security Administration
Assignment: King County
Notes: Trooper Allan has been assigned to the Homeland Security Division as a canine handler for 12 years. Frankie is his fifth canine; Trooper Allen’s fourth canine Patrick was the first WSP canine to die in the line of duty.

 

 

 

Trooper Shaun Casavant and Maxo
Breed: German Shepherd, 2-years-old
Trained By: Transportation Security Administration
Assignment: Kitsap County
Notes: Trooper Casavant is a new addition to the Homeland Security Division. Maxo is his first canine.

 

 

Trooper Rich Howson and Vilma
Breed: German Short Haired Pointer, 2-years-old
Trained By: Transportation Security Administration
Assignment: Kitsap County
Notes: Trooper Rich Howson is a new addition to the Homeland Security Division. Vilma is his first canine.

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