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Councilman Jon Burgess welcomed some rather intriguing guests to the council chambers during the August Special Council Presentation, when the current members of the Homestead Police K9 Unit and their new four-legged counterparts paid a visit to discuss the current state of the unit.Since October 2013, the K9 unit has retired several handlers and their dogs after years of dedicated service which left the division depleted. Homestead Police Chief Al Rolle, recognizing the urgency of restoring the unit’s resources, mandated that personnel do whatever was necessary to replenish its ranks. Less than a year later, the K9 unit is back to full staff and ready to execute its duties.
“These dogs assist us in the location and apprehension of hidden offenders,” said Councilman Burgess. “They are an invaluable resource that not only are able to use their natural instincts to efficiently scan large areas but they also keep our officers out of harm’s way.”
At that point, the dogs and their handlers appeared pair by pair in the council chamber. They were as follows: Sergeant Tony Traad and K9 Nitro. The duo completed 80 hours of training and is FDLE certified and also just completed 120 hours of training for Explosive Detection. Officer John Monaco and K9 Gunner completed 80 hours of training and became FDLE certified. Gunner is his new K9. Detective Freddie Paschal and K9 Milo successfully completed 80 hours of training and also successfully completed training and is certified as a Drug detection K9. This team is currently serving in the Special Investigative Unit. Officer Carlos Garcia and K9 Chance successfully completed 480 hours training and is FDLE certified and the team is actively working throughout the city assigned to dayshift. Officer Steven Bohne and K9 Ducan successfully completed 480 hours training and is FDLE certified and the team is actively working throughout the city assigned to afternoon shift and Officer Juan Roa and K9 Diesel successfully completed 480 hours training and is FDLE certified and the team is actively working throughout the city assigned to midnight shift.
Once the introductions were made, the members of the unit presented Chief Al Rolle with a certificate of appreciation for his leadership and unflinching support to reassemble one of the finest K9 units in Miami-Dade County.