Boise Police Department
News Release

William L. Bones
Chief of Police

Contact: BPD Media Relations Office


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Boise PD Service Dog Yuma Retires

Boise PD Service Dog Yuma Retires

    Boise, Jan 12, 2011 - It's tough to see him go, but Chief Michael Masterson joined a large crowd at the Boise Airport today to give retirement wishes and a warm send off to Boise Police Service Dog, Yuma. In his career, Yuma and his handler Officer Anthony damer conducted more than 5,000 explosives searches at the Boise Airport and events throughout the country.

    Yuma is an 11 year old Chocolate Lab who has served as an explosives detection dog for the Boise Airport since August, 2002. Yuma was one of the first two FAA (now TSA) dogs to be deployed to BOI. He's starting to show his age with a some grey hairs, but airport officers say Yuma's nose hasn't slowed down a bit, and neither has his motivation to do his job keeping air travelers safe.

    Yuma's talents are remarkable, but he owes much of his success to his skilled and dedicated handler, Officer Damer. Officer Damer is not retiring. He's transferring to the Boise Police Patrol Unit next week. But in his years with Yuma, Officer Damer very ably led the Boise Airport Police K9 Explosives Detection Unit as it grew from a two to a six-handler team, and into one of the most respected Airport K9 units in the country.

    Of the 5,000 explosives searches, Officer Damer and Yuma's accomplishments include being chosen from hundreds of K9 teams to be part of the VIP protection unit at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis in 2008. Officer Damer and Yuma worked the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise in 2009, and the pair has provided security for the President, the Vice President, and Presidential candidates visiting Boise and Idaho. Officer Damer has also shown exemplary leadership in planning and developing the Boise Police K9 Explosives Detection Unit, making their expertise available for security detail at dozens of large events throughout Idaho and the Northwest.

    At Yuma's retirement ceremony today, Officer Damer thanked fellow members of the Boise Airport Police K9 Explosives Detection Unit, leaders in the Boise Police Department, at the Boise Airport and the City of Boise, and the citizens of Boise for all their support in making public safety programs like the K9 unit so successful. The TSA, the official owners of the airport canines, will soon assign Officer Damer ownership of Yuma. Officer Damer and his wife promise that Yuma will have a healthy retirement full of naps, meals and long walks on the Boise River Greenbelt.


About Yuma:

…Yuma was born Dec. 1, 1999 in Signal Point, Tennessee. He was sold to the federal government at the age of two.

…Yuma met the Boise Airport Police Officer who would be his handler and partner for the next nine years in August of 2002. They attended a ten-week training program for explosives detection dogs at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

…For the past nine years Yuma has often been one of the first sights travelers see when they arrive at the Boise Airport. Yuma and his handler Officer Anthony Damer have been a welcome and reassuring sight for travelers.

… Yuma is the first police service dog to begin and end his career in service at the Boise Airport.

…Yuma and Officer Damer have done more than 5,000 explosives searches at the Boise Airport, state and national events.

…Yuma’s become the mascot for airport employees. Yuma is “hard-nosed” when it comes to detecting potential explosives… but he’s about as good-natured and friendly as a dog can be.

… Yuma and is his handler Officer Damer have been partners since the explosives detection K9 unit began at the Boise Airport in August of 2002.

…Yuma was one of the first two explosives detection dogs to be assigned to BOI. The BPD airport K9 unit has now grown to six dogs with the help of the TSA.

…Besides keeping air travelers and airport workers safe, Yuma’s explosive detection expertise has been put into service at large national events like the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, the Portland Rose Festival, and Yuma has responded to help keep people safe at numerous events throughout Idaho.



Funny things about Yuma…

…despite Yuma’s explosive detection expertise, when he first arrived in Boise as a young lab, Officer Damer found he was a bit afraid of riding in elevators!   

…Yuma was also a bit concerned anytime he’d walk through the airport and see his reflection! Yuma was known to growl at himself! Fortunately Officer Damer was able to work Yuma through those things pretty quickly and lead Yuma through his distinguished career.

    On behalf of all the women and men at the Boise Police Department, Thank You, Yuma!