Back in 2014, with an extensive amount of time, preparation and hard work the Sterling Police Department’s K9 Program was created. Our first K9, Glock, who is still with us today, was sworn in just a few months later. Adding our second K9 this year was no different of a process, requiring just as much time, diligence and effort to make it a reality. With that being said, the Sterling Police Department introduces our new K9 Officer, K9 Vader.
This year Sergeant Michael Grant stepped down from his K9 handler position as he transitioned into his Sergeant of Investigations role. With his absence, Command staff was tasked with filling his position and assigning K9 Glock a new handler. Command also decided that we would add another K9 to our family. Therefore, the consideration for who would be our new K9 handlers began. It takes a very special and dedicated person to be a K9 handler, someone who would ensure our K9 Program continues to be successful. A K9 handler is someone that can handle the job of being a K9 Officer, while still handling their regular patrol duties, as the K9 for our department is an add on to the officers regular assignment. With all of this taken into consideration, Corporal Morgan Sherwood and Officer Makayla Chartier were carefully chosen and assigned their K9s. Cpl. Sherwood was assigned to the new K9 and Officer Chartier would go through the transition process of being Glock’s new handler.
Both K9 handlers and Glock were sent off to Ashland, Ohio for an extensive 2-week training this past October where Cpl. Sherwood met Vader for the first time. Our K9 teams, Chartier/Glock and Sherwood/Vader, completed the official 120-hour K9 Team Training and Certification Course by K9 Working Dogs International, LLC where they successfully accomplished the necessary coursework, assessments, formal training, and practical evaluations in K9 Patrol, Tracking, Criminal Interdiction and Narcotics Substance Detection.
K9 Glock is a 9-year-old Dutch Shepherd who was born in Europe specifically bred and trained for law enforcement use prior to joining our family in May of 2014. During his 7 ½ years with our department, Glock has been deployed 238 times and has completed over 560 hours of training.
K9 Vader is a 14-month old German Shepard born and raised in Portugal. Vader was sent to K9 Working Dogs International in Ohio to start his training as a Police K9 at 11 months old. Vader has already helped apprehend armed robbery suspects, detected and located illegal narcotics, as well as being involved in multiple public relations events in his short time with our family.
Both K9 teams will be used to assist in increasing public safety by the prevention and detection of crimes, locating and apprehending criminals, reducing/deterring illegal drug activity, searching for missing children and helping ensure drug free schools. Enhancing department community relations, as well as officer safety and productivity, are also key objectives of the canine unit mission. Through training and education, the K9 teams seek continued self-improvement and an increasing involvement in the community law enforcement effort.
K9 Glock certifies yearly through the Colorado Police Canine Association and trains endlessly to ensure a high level of proficiency as will K9 Vader.
For demonstrations call (970) 522-3512 and ask for Officer Chartier.