After a longtime K-9 turns in his badge, Hawaii County welcomes a new officer to the force
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii County police welcomed a new officer to the force recently — and his salary and training are mostly covered by donations.
But his career didn’t begin without a nod to his predecessor in a special ceremony on Hawaii Island.
K-9 officer Falcon retired with honors in Hilo Friday.
The 9-year-old lab mix served the department and the county for seven and a half years.
His primary work this past year was finding children in danger — like a 10-year-old boy who went missing in Pahoa town.
“They were able to locate that little boy who was hiding in a bush and reunited him with his family and they were able to sleep that night,” said Amanda Leonard, coordinator and branch chief of the state Attorney General’s Missing Child Center – Hawaii.
He’s had quite the career, but it was time to trade in his vest for years of well-deserved rest.
The young hotshot taking his place: K-9 Scout, a 20-month-old Belgian Malinois.
“We look forward to K-9 Scout carrying that torch and we look forward to the many successes that scout brings to this department and this community,” Leonard said.
These top tier dogs don’t come cheap as you may imagine. Scout’s price tag and handler training costs were around $16,000 — all covered by the Hawaii Island K9 Association.
“Law enforcement across the country has to do more with less, we have less support, less equipment and less training, and when we get the public and the community to support us and what we are trying to do, which is keep everybody safe, we really appreciate it,” said Assistant Chief Kenneth Quiocho.
Scout’s primary focus will be searching for missing children, but he has also been trained for cadaver work.
As for Falcon, retirement means more time with his family, happy to have him home full time.
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