Members of the Boise Police Department gathered Tuesday, December 17th to honor and retire two of the department's most accomplished police service dogs. Vigo and KC were sent off with a basket of doggie treats and toys and a plaque for their officer/handlers recognizing their faithful years of service.
"They both are characters, as well. Whenever I have attended a Neighborhood Watch function, National Night Out or one of dozens of different community meetings these dogs are at, they get all the attention!" joked Chief Michael Masterson at the ceremony officially retiring the dogs.
"They deserve the attention and the accolades. These two dogs have been amazing partners and have served to protect our officers and the citizens of Boise with distinction. We know they will live the rest of their days with the families they have come to love and who love them back. They're in for a pretty cushy, well deserved retirement, no doubt about it." said the Chief.
In a resolution passed by the City Council, ownership of these police service dogs has been transferred to their officer/handlers. Donating these dogs to the handler allows these canines, who have served as valuable members of the Boise Police Department, to remain and live out the remainder of their days in healthy, familiar surroundings.
KC has been in service with the Boise Police Department from April 2010 to October 2013. KC is what’s known as a “Single Purpose” or a drug detection dog.
KC is an 8-year-old Lab-Border Collie mix. She was rescued by BPD from the Idaho Humane Society in mid-August, 2009. Boise PD K9 handlers and employees at the shelter realized almost immediately KC had the potential to be a very useful patrol dog as she’s very calm until she sees her toy! KC goes nuts over a tennis ball! She has a very high drive for play which makes her a very good police service dog. Pair that toy drive with the scent of drugs and she understands when she finds the drugs and alerts, she gets to play with her toy.
KC has had 385 deployments in her four years with BPD.
In that time, she has helped officers:
- Seize of $52,700 in cash
- $65,662 worth of drugs
- 531 pieces of drug paraphernalia
- 3 illegally possessed handguns are off the streets thanks to KC.
KC loves to retrieve. During her time hanging out in the office she has found many items to drop at someone's feet that she is just hoping will be thrown for her to fetch. Those items include highlighters, pens, pencils, rubber bands, paperclips, a pebble, soda cans, water bottles, a feather (which stuck to her tongue), a shred of paper and random items from the trashcan. A girl has to do something to pass the time!
Vigo is now 9 years old. He’s a 62 pound Belgian Malinois who was born in Holland in 2005 and came to Boise in 2007. He was trained by Corporal Arthur who is a certified police service dog trainer and happens to be Vigo’s handler. Vigo is a “dual purpose” or a drug and suspect apprehension dog with Patrol.
Whether it's sniffing out hidden drugs or playing "Catch me if you can" with bad guys, It’s all play to Vigo and he loves it, and he loves to play hide-n-seek! Vigo is known by his family as being "aggressively affectionate!"
In his six year career here with Boise Police, Vigo has had:
- Over 550 Apprehension deployments resulting in 19 arrests by surrenders or finds of criminal suspects.
- Over 300 Drug sniffs resulting in more than 53 arrests; 35 misdemeanor and 18 felony arrests.
- Vigo has been a great ambassador and teacher. He and Officer Arthur have done more than 100 Public Demonstrations in area schools with an emphasis on drug resistance education and personal responsibility in making healthy life choices.
About the Boise Police K9 Unit
KC’s spot will be filled by a dual purpose dog that has not been selected yet. The department will be interviewing for a handler to take her spot. Officer Reimers is taking on another dog, Kamo, who’s handler has left the unit.
Corporal Arthur is already training with a new dual purpose dog. That dog Rocky is just now on the streets, newly certified as a drug detection – suspect apprehension dog last month.
Today, the Boise Police Patrol Canine Unit consists of:
- 3 drug detection dogs. All BPD drug detection dogs are certified by the Idaho Peace Officers Standards and Training Academy, having achieved the required 100% proficiency. One of the Boise Police drug detection dogs is adopted from our local animal shelter. The other two were acquired through citizens or other contacts at no initial cost to the department. Two of the BPD single purpose drug detection dogs are lab mixes, the third is a German Shepherd- Belgian Malanois mix.
- 5 drug detection/suspect apprehension dogs. These patrol dogs are cross trained in drug detection and suspect apprehension. These dual purpose dogs are purchased at a young age and can be very costly due to their breeding and early training. Many dual purpose police patrol dogs are born in Europe and later sent to American suppliers who then sell the dogs to police agencies. These dogs require in depth training with their handler before they are ready for police work. Four of the Boise Police drug detection/suspect apprehension patrol dogs are Belgian Malanois, the fourth is a German Shepherd.
- All Boise Police Canines are certified by the Idaho Police Officers Standards and Training program.
What is the Boise Police Canine Foundation?
The Boise Police Canine Foundation is a charitable fund that supports the operation of the Boise Police Canine Unit beyond the department’s annual operating budget. Donations can be made online at www.idcomfdn.org , click on Donate Directly to Your Favorite Fund, and choose Boise Police Canine Foundation.
Or mail a check made out to Boise Police Department Canine Foundation to:
ICF at P.O. Box 8143, Boise, ID 83707.
Tax benefits of donations? Donations are tax deductible and can be made in any amount. Donations made before Dec. 31 can be deducted from 2013 income taxes.