Because of health related issues which have affected Red’s performance as a patrol K9 the department decided to utilize Red as a single purpose narcotic dog and to acquire another candidate as a patrol dog. After a long search K9 Radar was selected. K9 Radar was purchased and donated to the Webster Police Department (WPD) at no cost to the taxpayers of Webster.
Radar joined the WPD late Fall 2010. K9 Radar was bred by the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office breeding program. The majority of his brothers and sisters are currently being trained as both patrol and detection K9’s in Massachusetts. Radar’s mother is a working K9 for the BCSO and is father is a retired BCSO K9.
Once Radar and his littermates were a few months old, they were fostered by other experienced K9 Handlers. They were socialized with other people and animals. They received foundation training in obedience, tracking, and their basic protection work. At his current age of 2.5 years Radar is a well socialized and confident K9 with a stable temperament. He has been exposed to different environments that would overwhelm the average dog.
Officer Suss and K9 Radar were paired as a K9 team in August of 2010. After spending time bonding they started their training together for the next few months. Because of a harsh winter and staffing shortages at the WPD their training was cut short until the spring. Both Officer Suss and K9 Radar finished their formal patrol training at the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office in 2011. The PCSO’s K9 Director, Kenneth Ballanger, is a nationally recognized trainer of police K9s.
K9 Radar's Work
Since K9 Radar has been working with the men and women of the WPD he has made an impact.
- On May 15, 2011 The Police Department received a report of a suicidal male threatening to run into traffic on I395. The caller initially encountered the distraught looking subject offering help. The person told the caller he was headed to the highway to kill himself. Officers flooded the area searching for the man but were unable to locate him. K9 Radar tracked the man to a wooded area near the highway on ramp. He was taken into custody for a psychiatric evaluation. His blood alcohol content was over three times the limit allowed to drive a vehicle.
- On May 21, 2011 The Police Department received a call for an armed Robbery on Poland Street. The suspect, armed with a knife, robbed a male and a female. During the course of the robbery the suspect also injured the male victim. K9 Radar was utilized and tracked to the suspect’s residence. Officers applied for and received a warrant for the suspect who is still wanted by the WPD.
- On July 5, 2011 The Auburn Police Department received a call for a missing 12 year old girl. The young girl was visiting relatives with her family. After getting into an argument with her mother she fled barefoot into some woods on the Auburn/Worcester line. Relatives and neighbors (with their own family dog) searched the woods for approximately two hours before they called the police, who in turn called for the Webster K9 Unit. Using a scent article from the girl, K9 Radar tracked her into the nearby woods. Because the track was over a couple of hours old, and the woods were already searched, there were a lot of doubts she was still there. Broadcasts were sent to the surrounding towns and the City with her description. K9 Radar was able to locate the girl within 15 minutes of arriving. He tracked straight to her location where she was trying to hide in a tree stand. (This was already searched by the neighbors.) The young girl was returned to her mother safely.
- On November 1, 2011 The Webster Police received a report of an armed robbery on Lake Street. After interviewing possible suspects on Prospect Street, one suspect fled the area on foot after providing false information as to his identity. Officers immediately set up a perimeter in the neighborhood for K9 Radar to search from the suspect’s last known location. When searching a backyard Officer Suss, K9 Radar, and Detective Gordon Wentworth located the man hiding on a second floor porch. After learning the suspect’s identity, Officers learned he was wanted from the State of Rhode Island for Robbery and Firearm’s charges.
- On December 13, 2011 The Webster Police received a call on Myrtle Avenue for an intoxicated and out of control male. The suspect’s mother reported him as being destructive and assaultive. The man left the area on foot before officers arrived on scene. K9 Radar tracked and located different articles of clothing that the intoxicated man left behind through the neighborhood. Officers were able to discover property damage the suspect caused in the area. While they were searching a homeowner discovered the suspect attempting to steal his vehicle. Because they were only a short distance away, K9 Radar and Officer Suss located the suspect fighting with the homeowner. The suspect surrendered and Officers were able to take him into custody without a fight.
- Two of their Webster K9 Unit deployments were mentioned in the United States Police Canine Association quarterly publication “The Canine Courier” as “Quarterly Finds.” The department is pleased to see the K9 Unit’s efforts recognized by their peers.