|During the last week of April 2015, the Kingsport Police Department’s K-9 Unit traveled to Loudon County, TN to compete in the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) Region 8 K-9 Trials. This event is a certification and competition that includes all K-9 Units throughout East Tennessee.
K.P.D.’s K-9 Unit is comprised of four K-9 Teams with each team consisting of a dog and its handler. All of K.P.D.’s dogs are considered dual purpose dogs, meaning that they are trained in both general patrol duties as well as detection. Three of the dogs are trained to detect narcotics, while the fourth dog is trained to detect explosives.
While one of the oldest K-9 Units in the State of Tennessee, two of K.P.D.’s current dogs, Nim and Reko, are rookies with each only having five months of law enforcement service. This fact makes their accomplishments at this year’s K-9 Trials even more impressive.
In the Patrol Dog category, all four K-9 Teams earned National points, qualifying for the upcoming National USPCA K-9 Trials in Illinois. A team must earn a minimum 0f 560 points out of a possible 700 points to qualify. All four K.P.D. K-9 Teams earned well over 600 points.
Officer Billy Boyd and K-9 Reko earned “Top Dog” honors, finishing first place in the Patrol Dog category. This team won first place in obedience, agility, and apprehension and second place in article search and suspect box search. Officer Boyd and Reko also won the “Guzman Award” which goes to the team with the top combined score for obedience and apprehension. Again, Reko is brand new to police work with only five months of service.
Officer Ken Jackson and K-9 Roi finished second place in the Patrol Dog category, earning second place in apprehension and third place in agility and article search.
Officer Brian Taylor and K-9 Axyl finished fourth place in the Patrol Dog category. Axyl’s performance is extremely impressive considering he is nearly nine years old which is senior for any dog, but extremely old for a working police dog.
In the Detector Dog category, all four K.P.D. K-9 Teams certified in their respective odor detection (narcotics or explosives), scoring over 190 out of a possible 200 points.
Officer David Johnson and K-9 Nim finished third place in the Detector Dog category. Again, Nim is brand new to police work with only five months of service.
All four of K.P.D.’s K-9 Teams certified in tracking; however, that event was not scored for ranking, because K.P.D.’s dogs were the only dogs at the trial that attempted the tracking discipline.
Chief of Police David Quillin, who is also a former K-9 handler, offered the following comments: “The Kingsport Police Department is extremely proud of its K-9 Unit. Being a K-9 handler is a full-time job, both on and off duty, and takes a level of dedication that meets or exceeds that of almost any other assignment in law enforcement. The officers involved in their training and handling are commended for their efforts and performance at the Region 8 Trials.”
K.P.D. would also like to recognize Lieutenant Randall Gore and Sergeant Kevin Hite for their active involvement in the supervision, selection, training, and preparation of the K.P.D. K-9 Unit for the Region 8 Trials and for their daily duties in the field.