A-O- K-9 !

Colonial Beach has a K-9 Unit! His name is Vader and he's a Patrol Utility Dog who was specially trained in Richmond, Virginia for handler protection and finding suspects. Handler Patrolman Everett Brown trained with him for 14 weeks.

UPDATE: Vader has returned to Richmond. Colonial Beach PD opted not to maintain two canines so the 3-year old, 65-lb. Vader was purchased by the Virginia Kennel Club and donated, and now will patrol the streets of the Richmond area with handler Sgt. Michael Bohannon.

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch June 27, 2010

He's used for searching buildings and article searching. He is capable of what's called "clearing a building," meaning he can detect and indicate if a suspect is in a building or not. He's trained to pick up various scents from a suspect such as human odor, perfume and/or alcohol. In fact, Vader and Brown were called in to track a suspect for B&E (that's Breaking and Entering) but unfortunately, the trail was over 4 hours old and the scent was not strong enough to track.

Vader won't be used for tracking lost children or Alzheimer’s patients because he's trained to be aggressive. He lives with Brown but does not interact with any other members of the family. This is necessary in order to keep Vader focused on his training in the pursuit of suspects.

Police Dogs on Parade
Police Dogs on Parade

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Human Officer Brown and his K-9 partner performed a demonstration of their abilities at a meeting of the Junior Rescue Squad. The squad members noted how the officer was decked out in protective wear but Vader did not have any, so they began a campaign to raise money for a bulletproof vest for the police pooch. They also made enough money to outfit all the ambulances with animal oxygen masks in case of a pet-related emergency.

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