Posted by Sgt. Travis Hicks
I apologize in advance for the long post, but hopefully everyone will be able to gain some insight from it.
First, I would like to introduce you all to Elkville PD's newest officer. Pictured is my new partner K9 Kaos (pronounced Chaos). Kaos is a Belgian Malinois and is 18 months old. Kaos recently completed the first part of his training and became certified in narcotics detection and tracking. Over the next few months, Kaos will also be receiving training in handler protection and apprehension. He is patrolling with me tonight for at least part of my shift and will ultimately become my regular partner.
Now to hopefully address some questions. K9 Boomer will continue to live with me and will remain certified as a Police K9. He will continue to patrol some until Kaos becomes comfortable working a full shift. Once Kaos becomes my regular partner, I intend to use Boomer for public relations events, playing with the kids, and going to the schools. Boomer will also be used in search and rescue cases, such as when someone is lost. I have some ideas for Boomers future, but everyone will have to wait and see what I decide will be next for him 😊.
Now to explain why I am switching dogs. While Boomer has done an AMAZING job, I have always dreamed of being a K9 handler for a "traditional" type of police dog. Handling Kaos will fulfill a dream that I have had since I was a kid.
For everyone who isn't aware, Boomer is my personal dog and was actually bred to be a waterfowl dog. I went to the Village Board and asked permission to get him trained and certified, and they thankfully granted me that opportunity. Boomer's training and equipment was purchased through donations. His vet bills are discounted greatly and the remainder is paid for out of my pocket. I also supply all of the food. There has been no cost to the Village for the use of Boomer.
I wanted to say all of that before I talk about Kaos. I purchased him myself, with help from my family, when he was 8 weeks old. I approached the Village Board last summer and explained to them that I had purchased another dog and would like to use him once he was trained. The Board graciously gave their blessing for me to train and use Kaos.
I have received some donations for Kaos' training, and what isn't covered by donations will be paid for by my family and I. I also donate all of the time that I spend training each of the dogs. As with Boomer, there will be no cost to the Village for the use of Kaos.
The K9 unit is something that I wanted to start and that I want to continue. Knowing that Elkville is a small town with a limited budget, I have not asked nor expected the Village to finance the K9 unit. All I have asked of the Board is their permission to use the dogs and they have been very supportive. I would like to thank each of the Village Board members for allowing me to pursue my goals.
Ok almost done, I think only one more thing to talk about lol.
I understand that everyone is used to Boomer. He is an amazing dog and is very friendly and absolutely loves the attention that he gets from everyone. I thoroughly enjoy being able to show him off and let everyone play with him. However, Kaos is a true working dog. He literally lives to work and is very high drive. He was bred to be a police dog and he has numerous relatives who are also police dogs. With that being said, he is not as approachable as Boomer. Please understand that he is in no way a "vicious" dog and he is very obedient. However, he has a job to do and part of that job is to protect me and to protect himself. Being a dog, he is unable to distinguish who the nice people are that want to come and pet him or talk to me from those who would like to inflict harm on one of us. Please don't be upset or offended if I don't let him socialize with everyone like Boomer gets to. Also, Kaos is trained in German and Dutch. So if you hear me talking to him and not pronouncing things right try not to make too much fun of me, I'm still learning the language lol.
Ok that about covers it. Again, I apologize for the long post. I figured it would be much easier to make a post so that everyone gets the same information. I hope that I have covered everything, but if not feel free to post your question on here or stop me when u see me driving by. Thank you for taking the time to read this.