The Revere Police Department’s K9 Unit was reactivated in 2008 thanks to funding in the form of a grant provided by the Department of Homeland Security. The grant covered the cost of the dog, a police cruiser, equipment, and the necessary training.
Sergeant Mike Mason and K9 Walsh underwent extensive training at the Boston Police K9 Academy and continue to train regularly. K9 Walsh, a German Shepherd imported from Slovakia, is trained as a dual-purpose dog specializing in Explosive Ordinance Detection and Patrol Operations. In addition to their daily training, the team is required to attend formal in-service training at a minimum of 16 hours per month.
K9 Walsh is trained to recognize more than 20 different types of explosive odors and indicate to his handler upon finding them. He is also trained to search for missing persons, fleeing suspects, or those in hiding. He is trained in building and open area searches, suspect apprehension, and handler protection. Sergeant Mason and K9 Walsh continue to provide valuable K9 services to the citizens and guests of Revere. They’ve also responded to numerous mutual aid requests from surrounding communities and outside agencies and continue to support any agency who may request their assistance.
In 2015 the K9 unit added a second dog, K9 Earl, thanks to a generous grant from The Stanton Foundation. Their grant paid for K9 Earl, his equipment, and necessary training. The grant also covers any necessary veterinarian bills.
K9 Earl is a Belgian Malinois. He was bred and raised here in the United States, and began his training with Officer Launie when he was only 11 months old. Officer Steve Launie and K9 Earl underwent 14 weeks of patrol training at the Boston Police K9 Academy, where K9 Earl was certified as a patrol dog. K9 Earl’s primary purpose is as a locating tool. He can find people in buildings or open areas and is trained to track their footsteps through a variety of terrain. K9 Earl can even locate evidence that a suspect may have dropped or tried to hide. In addition to his patrol training, K9 Earl has received training in Special Weapons and Tactics or SWAT. In SWAT, K9 Earl learned to move as a member of a SWAT Team in high risk entries, building and vehicle searches. He can clear an area ahead of the SWAT Team, locating hidden suspects and reduce the risk of injury to one of the officers. Officer Launie and K9 Earl will continue their training in 2016, when they attend the Narcotics Detection Course.
When not working, both of our K9s live with their respective handlers. The care and maintenance of a Police K9 goes beyond the start and end of an assigned shift. It is a 24/7 job that requires a huge commitment on the part of the officers. Other than basic feeding and grooming, Police K9s must train regularly to keep up their proficiency, even if it means training on the officer’s days off.
Sergeant Mike Mason, Officer Steve Launie, K9 Earl and K9 Walsh would like to thank Home Depot, Lowes, Stop and Shop, and Cam’s Demo for their generous donations. Financial contributions to help sustain the unit are gladly accepted. For more information contact Sergeant Mason at 781-656-1120.