K9 teams from across the state of Wyoming gathered in Gillette last week to complete their annual certification through the Wyoming Police Service Dog Association. Four of the 17 certifying teams were from the Cheyenne Police Department.
Throughout the week, training was conducted in narcotics detection, patrol, evidence location,
and tracking skills. The teams were evaluated, on and off leash, in different scenarios and high
intensity environments they might encounter performing their everyday tasks. The K9s were also
tested on protecting their handler from an unexpected attack.
Awards were presented to the top performers at the end of the certification. CPD K9 Pavel and
his handler Officer Pat Johnston earned two major awards, “Top Scoring Overall K9 Team” and
“Top Scoring Narcotics K9 Team.”
Even though the annual certification is complete, K9s and handlers train all year long in order to
maintain their skills.
“Our K9 handlers and their partners are a vital part of our department,” said Chief Mark
Francisco. “We are very proud to be recognized as having one of the best teams in the state. This
unit works tirelessly to maintain their skills for the safety of our community and our officers.”
CPD K9 teams completing certification:
- K9 Pavel and Officer Johnston
- K9 Dutch and Officer Johnson
- K9 Tyler and Officer Koeppel
- K9 Maverick and Officer Vapenik