“It may be K-9 Benjamin’s birthday but to his department, he’s the best gift ever.”
This 3-year-old Belgian Malinois is on a roll. Just one day after celebrating his 3rd birthday, he got his first official job.
K9 Benjamin is a pretty big deal. Not only did he just celebrate his 3rd birthday, but he also was officially sworn in as a new K-9 Officer at the Epping Police Department.
Benjamin is now a genuine police K-9. He is partnered with Officer Katie Callahan. Benjamin may now officially be official, but he’s actually not new to the department and has been in training and sharpening his skills so he can protect his fellow officers and the community.
On February 11, 2022, The Epping Police Department shared this press release on Facebook:
“K-9 Benjamin, JOINS THE EPPING, NH POLICE DEPARTMENT.
Chief Michael J. Wallace III and the Epping Police Department are proud to welcome their newest Officer to the force. K-9 Benjamin, a 17-month-old Belgian Malinois, will be joined by his handler, Officer Katie Callahan. The Epping, NH Police Department is proud to have joined other communities and agencies within Rockingham County and the State of New Hampshire who have added a four-legged full-time partner to their ranks.
Officer Callahan and K-9 Benjamin attended the 14-week K-9 Patrol school at the Boston K-9 Academy and graduated on December 17, 2021. During this intense training Officer Callahan and K-9 Benjamin were trained in Obedience, Agility, Evidence Recovery, Building Searches, Area Searches, Tracking, Search and Rescue, K-9 First Aid, Hander Protection, and Criminal Apprehension.
On February 11, 2022, Officer Callahan and K9 Benjamin graduated from the Boston K9 Narcotics school. This was a 240-hour course, building odor recognition with all high-end narcotics. This marks the completion of Officer Callahan and K9 Benjamin’s foundation training. They are now a certified dual-purpose K9 team. Officer Callahan and K9 Benjamin will continue building their skills during their mandatory in-service training, which is sixteen hours a month.
Officer Callahan and K9 Benjamin are excited to be serving the Town of Epping, NH.
Grant funding for the K-9 Unit was provided by The Stanton Foundation. The Stanton Foundation provided the Epping, NH Police Department with $27,000 in grants, to support the K-9 unit, which is intended to cover initial acquisition and training costs of the dog plus ongoing costs for a total of three years.
The Stanton Foundation requires the K-9 to be a dual-purpose dog which are typically German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds or Belgian Malinois and requires the K-9 and their Handler to participate in training programs ranging from 8-14 weeks where the dog and handler learn to work as a team in crucial areas of specialty police work. Both the handlers and K-9 police dogs are prepared to be on-call around the clock whenever their services are needed. The grant has allowed us to bring this dynamic asset to our agency.
As full-time Officers, the K-9 unit is a force multiplier with the ability to track missing persons and suspects, search, and clear buildings, assist other officers and locate narcotics. Search grids that would normally involve dozens of officers, can be narrowed and completed quickly by a single dog. This saves departments time, money, and manpower. K-9s also protect officers through deterrence, as even the most determined criminals are uneasy about resisting apprehension by a well-trained patrol dog.
In addition to providing Law Enforcement services, Police K9s are also important in strengthening the relationship between police departments and the community. Police K9 Units support better relationships with law enforcement agencies through community outreach in all parts of society from schools to assisted living facilities. It costs an estimated $20,000 to introduce a new K-9 unit into a community with comparatively minimal ongoing costs to a department. Unlike many other tools of law enforcement which depreciate in value over the years, K-9s provide higher returns on investment over time to any community that maximizes all that they have to offer. We look forward to having Officer Callahan and K9 Benjamin serving the citizens of Epping, NH.
Congratulations Officer Callahan and K9 Benjamin on your certifications and graduation!
We would like to recognize the following organizations for their contributions, efforts, donations, and support of our new K-9 program.
The Stanton Foundation
The Town of Epping, NH / Board of Selectman and Budget Committee
Cornerstone Veterinary Hospital
Tractor Supply, Brentwood, and Plaistow
Pet Smart, Epping”
Michael J. Wallace III, Chief of Police
We hope you enjoyed watching Benjamin’s swearing-in. Don’t forget to wish him a happy birthday, as well. As always, please feel free to share with your friends.