In the year 2000, the Westfield Police Department added their first K9 officer, “Duke”. Duke’s handler, Officer Kerry Paton went through extensive training with Duke so they could both become patrol certified. Duke was trained to protect Kerry, to bite on command, to sniff for drugs, and to search. Officer Paton and Officer “Duke” are both retired and “Duke” has passed on.
A few years after Kerry and “Duke” began patrolling, the Westfield Police Department added a second dog. This dog was a chocolate lab and was passive, meaning it was not trained to bite or attack, but was trained to sniff for drugs, guns, and certain explosive materials. “Kaila” was assigned to one of our school resource officers and worked at Westfield High School. “Kaila” worked for the Westfield Police Department for several years before being transferred to another department.
The Westfield Police department currently has one officer assigned to the K9 Unit. Officer Chris Coach is currently assigned to “Mako”, after retiring his first K9 partner “Falco”. Mako is trained to be aggressive if the need arises, trained to sniff for drugs, and is trained to search.
Officer Coach, and his partner work a regular eight hour shift, but they are also available 24 hours per day for call outs when necessary.