Washington State Patrol to honor K9 unit

SHELTON, Wash. – Washington State Patrol troopers from around the state will gather on Tuesday to honor the agency’s K9 unit.

The WSP Homeland Security Division will dedicate a new K9 memorial monument to Patrick, the first and only Washington State Patrol explosive K9 to die in the line of duty. Troopers said passing in April 2016 was a tremendous loss to the agency.

“We lost a member of the WSP family who devotedly served the agency… Patrick’s explosive detection work helped keep tens of thousands of Washington residents and travelers safe,” said Chief John R. Batiste.

His service will now be memorialized at the WSP Academy in Shelton, Wash.

Officials said three new explosive K9s will also be graduating after 420 hours of explosive detection training. Two additional K9s will also receive their re-commissioning. After these new four-legged troopers are commissioned, the Washington State Patrol will have the largest non-federal K9 program in the country.

Meet the newest WSP K9s:

Hank and Trooper Darrin Fehlhafer – Trooper Fehlhafter joined WSP’s Homeland Security Division with seven years of K9 experience. Hank is a 2-year-old Labrador retriever. Hank is Trooper Fehlhafer’s third K9 partner.

Major and Trooper Bree McGee – Trooper McGee joined HSD with four years of K9 experience. Major is a 2-year-old German Shepard.

Luna and Trooper Kevin Fortino – Trooper Fortino joined HSD from the Target Zero Team in Tacoma, Wash. Luna is a 1-year-old Labrador retriever.

Trooper Seteve Garder and K9 Mitchell as well as Trooper Rob Richey and K9 Decker will also be recognized for their recommissioning.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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