We have nine new Troopers in the Patrol, and each come with four-legs and a nose for explosives.

On Friday, September 3, 2016, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) graduated nine dogs from the 20th Explosive Detection Canine Handler Course.

Despite the rain and a few tousled hair-dos, Moss, Ralph, Maxo, Buster, Evie, Frankie, Mitchell, Vilma, and Rex were all groomed and looking their best at last Friday’s graduation ceremony.

One-by-one, Chief John Batiste called up the newly-minted officers and presented them with their official Washington State Patrol K9 badge.

While the ceremony held major significance – it was the K9 Unit’s 20th Anniversary after all – it proved to be a bit too formal for the new graduates, who were all wiggly and had trouble sitting still. Not to mention, they were very vocal (even barking over Chief Batiste) about letting their handlers know it was time to get outside and play. After the ceremony concluded the K9s rushed outside to spend some quality time with their families and show off their new badges to reporters.

However, the nine new graduates weren’t the only ones honored that day. Master Trainer Steve Gardner and Trooper Matt Chatterton (Evie’s handler) were also presented with 20-year Service Pins and Ms. Kate Park was given a Certificate of Appreciation for her dedication to the Homeland Security Division.

See photos below:

Although these photos are adorable…these dogs mean serious business.

The graduation marked the end a rigorous 12-week training period. You can read all about it here http://bit.ly/1SUZodd and http://bit.ly/1ZjZjOI and http://bit.ly/2bQDwPM.

The Washington State Patrol’s K9 Unit is one of the largest in the country, assisting both state and federal government agencies such as the TSA, FBI, Secret Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.