Police dog Jake ends 10-year career in Hamilton

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Published January 4, 2024 at 4:33 pm

Hamilton Police Service Dog Jake, via Hamilton Police.

A 10-year veteran of the Hamilton Police Service has retired amid honours from his fellow officers.

Police Service Dog (PSD) Jake is a purebred German Shepherd who joined the service back in 2014. He was but a year old at the time and freshly arrived from Czechia.

He served alongside his handler Officer Kevin Wilson throughout his career. Wilson joined the service in 2008 before transferring to the K-9 unit to serve with Jake.

Per Hamilton Police, Jake was “cross-trained in human scent, narcotics, firearms and currency detection.” He and Wilson worked “locating missing, lost or wanted persons, evidence, as well as tracking down and apprehending fleeing criminals.”

As recently as November, Jake and Wilson were still catching alleged crooks. On Nov. 21, the pair responded to a north end business for a break in. While officers formed a perimeter and caught two of the three break in suspects, the third eluded them.

Luckily, Jake was on the case and tracked the third suspect down. The man was hiding in a steel bin before Jake hauled him out.

Hamilton Police began referring to Jake as “the one with the floppy ear” to single him out from the other three PSDs in the unit; Armour, Chase and Scout. Their handlers are Officers David Kerkhof, John Sabatini, and Vince Kikas.

Hamilton hosts the oldest K-9 unit in the province. They were the first city in Ontario to introduce a PSD-Officer team back in 1960.

“The officers and their assigned dogs undergo an extensive 16-week training course to learn how to chase, track narcotics, firearms, explosives and even missing persons,” the service wrote, “The K9 Unit is an enormous asset to the Hamilton Police Service family and are often utilized in serious calls such as robberies, weapons calls, drug calls and ground searches.”

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