The Washington Police Department added a new four-legged officer this week as Officer Seth Adam and his K-9, Dex, are back from training and patrolling together.
Adam, born and raised in Washington, became an officer in 2010 and became interested in being a K-9 handler. He spoke with the K-9 officer at the time, Brett Sorrells, and began training with him every month beginning in 2013.
In training, Adam would act as the decoy by putting on a bite suit or a sleeve and practiced apprehension work and narcotics training. This allowed him a different viewpoint from which to see how the dog worked and reacted in those specific situations.
In 2018, Sorrells announced his retirement and Adam approached then Chief Greg Goodman about becoming the new handler. He was given the green light and began fundraising immediately.
“I couldn’t believe how much support we got,” he said.
In less than six months, $23,000 was raised to pay for the cost of the dog, Officer Adam’s training, lodging and what was left over was put into a K-9 fund to help pay for food for Dex. Adam said seeing the community come together so quickly and willingly meant a lot to him because it would allow him to better serve the community.
“It means a lot because it shows that they do support us and that they support a drug-free community,” he said.
To get certified, Adam spent six weeks at Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver, Ind. Because he was the first one to register, he got first pick of the dogs. He said many other officers had their eye on Dex, but the pair created a bond when they first met on May 14. Dex, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, is originally from the Netherlands and came to the U.S. with a passport stamped by the EU.
The duo trained five days a week for 10 hours a day and worked on patrol duties, apprehension, tracking, handler protection and narcotics detection. On Tuesday, July 2, Officer Dex was sworn in at the Washington City Council Meeting by Washington Mayor Jaron Rosien, ahead of his first day of patrol, July 4.
Adam said Dex should be able to work until he is at least 10 years old, and he is thankful for the community support that brought them together.
“Some departments don’t have that, so we’re really grateful and thankful for it,” he said.