Police Department K-9 Unit.
The first Falmouth K-9 Unit was activated 1999 with Officer John Kilbride and K-9 Nero. The police dog and start up cost was supported by the community with private donations. Local children raised money through bake sales and other events to purchase a bullet proof vest for our first K-9.
In 2001, K-9 Nero was killed in an accident and the Unit continued with K-9 Yardie.
K-9 Yardie was purchased from Czechoslovakia and has been on the job since 2001 with Officer Kilbride. K-9 Yardie has been credited with locating dozens of fleeing criminals and several lost children. K-9 Yardie has located several thousand of dollars in stolen property and thousands recovered from drug seizures.
K-9 Yardie is certified by the United States Police Canine Association and the Maine Criminal Justice Academy for patrol work and narcotic searches. View Yardie in action.
It takes approximately 1200 hours to train the police dog to track, conduct building searches, articles searches and apprehend fleeing suspects. It takes another 400 hours to train the dog to locate several types of narcotics. The Falmouth K-9 Unit trains 8 hours every week to maintain the high certification standards set by the USPCA and the MCJA.
The K-9 Unit is a fundamental part of the police department and provides us a tool to locate people, drugs and property. Over the past several years the K-9 Unit has became invaluable in its service to Falmouth. Officer Kilbride and K-9 Yardie have received numerous achievement awards and were “K-9 Team of the Year” in 2002 for Maine and New Hampshire. The K-9 team is requested for their skills by many local and federal law enforcement agencies and has just recently been requested by the United States Coast Guard to assist in their Homeland Security functions on the waterways.