New MSP K-9s named for fallen troop­ers

Sunday Star - - LOCAL -

PIKESVILLE — The Mary­land State Po­lice Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Divi­sion K-9 Unit grad­u­ated five new dual pur­pose

K-9 teams at a cer­e­mony Fri­day, Oct. 5, in Car­roll County.

The cer­e­mony took place at the Mary­land State Po­lice Academy in Sykesville. Af­ter

26 weeks of in­tense train­ing, th­ese an­i­mals are ready to help keep Mary­land safe as they will serve as dual pur­pose K-9 teams that will be used for drug de­tec­tion and pa­trol/util­ity work.

The class is made up of two cur­rent han­dlers, two new han­dlers from Mary­land State Po­lice and one pa­trol of­fi­cer from the Eas­ton Po­lice De­part­ment. Of th­ese five teams, three of the newly cer­ti­fied K-9s have been named in honor of one of the Mary­land State Po­lice’s

43 fallen he­roes.

K-9 Plank, a Ger­man shep­herd, is paired with Cpl. Dana Orn­dorff and was named in honor of Tfc. Ed­ward Plank. Plank, 28, was killed on Oct. 17, 1995, when he was shot by a sus­pect af­ter con­duct­ing a traf­fic stop on U.S. Route 13 in Princess Anne. K-9 Plank and Orn­dorff will be as­signed to the Ber­lin Bar­racks.

K-9 Hunter, a Bel­gian mali­nois, is paired with Tfc. Shawn Brown and is named in honor of Tfc. Shaft Hunter. Hunter, 39, who also was a mem­ber of the K-9 Unit, was killed on May 21, 2011, when his pa­trol car col­lided with the back of a trac­tor­trailer that was parked on the shoul­der of I-95 in Howard County at about 2:40 a.m. It is be­lieved that he was pur­su­ing a speed­ing mo­tor­cy­cle when the col­li­sion oc­curred. K-9 Hunter and Brown will be as­signed to the West­min­ster Bar­racks.

K-9 Wade, a Ger­man shep­herd, is paired with Tfc. Kyle Mor­ri­son and is named in honor of Trooper Gary Wade. While tak­ing en­force­ment ac­tion for a traf­fic vi­o­la­tion on Jan. 30, 1982, Wade, 25, was hit and killed by a mo­torist who ran off the road, strik­ing the po­lice ve­hi­cle, the vi­o­la­tor’s ve­hi­cle, the trooper and the vi­o­la­tor. The in­ci­dent oc­curred on the JFK Me­mo­rial High­way just out­side Havre de Grace.

K-9 Wade and Mor­ri­son are as­signed to the North East Bar­racks, the same bar­racks where Trooper Wade ser ved.

The other grad­u­ates in­clude K-9 Drake, a Ger­man shep­herd, and Mas­ter Trooper James Lay­ton, who are as­signed to the Cum­ber­land Bar­racks. K-9 Kato is head­ing to the Eas­ton Po­lice De­part­ment with Pfc. Stephen Tin­dall.

The Mary­land State Po­lice K-9 unit has been in op­er­a­tion for nearly 60 years. Since 1961, K-9s have as­sisted law en­force­ment in drug de­tec­tion, search and res­cue mis­sions, ex­plo­sive de­tec­tions and crim­i­nal ap­pre­hen­sions. The unit has

33 troop­ers and 41 K-9s.

K-9 Kato is head­ing to the Eas­ton Po­lice De­part­ment with Pfc. Stephen Tin­dall

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