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The Medford Police K-9 program began in May of 1992. The unit was started with K-9 Oxer, a Belgian Malinois. Oxer set the high standards for today’s K-9's in the department. Oxer and his most recent handler, Officer Tony Young, were an effective team. In September of 1999, K-9 Oxer had to be euthanized as a result of a medical condition. Oxer is missed by all of us at the Medford Police Department. A plaque dedicated to Oxer’s memory has been installed in front of City Hall.
K-9's continue to be a valuable asset to the Medford Police Department.
The K-9s currently in service include two Belgian Malinois, a German Shepherd, and two English Springer Spaniels. All of our dogs are purchased from our trainers located in Southern California. The trainers obtain the dogs from over seas. The K-9 and handler attend a basic school that lasts up to 200 hours. The average age of the K-9 is 2-3 years old when they are purchased.
Today, the K-9 program consists of four teams:
Officer Havice/Narc & Max, drug detection
Officer Tucker/Scout, drug detection
Officer McFetridge/Bones, apprehension
Officer Esqueda/Kylo, apprehension
Officer Ettinger and Officer Terando are the team's training assistant/"agitators".
Sergeant Tom Venables is the unit's supervisor
Medford P.D. K-9 officers are members of the Oregon Police Canine Association. The dog and the handler are re-certified under strict standards annually. Officer Havice is also a member of the California Narcotic Canine Association and is certified in California annually.
Functions of the K-9s include: Tracking, area searches, building and vehicle searches, evidence searches, apprehending fleeing suspects, prisoner escorts, and demonstrations for community and civic groups.
For further information on the unit, contact Sergeant Tom Venables (541) 774-2260