The first Police Service Dogs were used by the Westport Police Department in the mid-1980s. The program ended after a short time when both officers left the department. The program was reinstated in 1991 with the addition of a Bloodhound, followed by a German Shepherd Dog in 1993. Police Service Dogs have played in important role in the operations of the department ever since.
The Westport Police Department was the first municipal department to use a Bloodhound in the state. Westport and the Connecticut State Police were the only two departments to use the breed in Connecticut for many years.
The Police Department currently has one Belgian Malinois named Koda and a yellow lab named Chase on the force. Our police dogs live at home and are valued members of each handler's family.
K9 officers drive specially equipped vehicles that are outfitted with equipment necessary to keep their K9 partners safe and secure in the vehicle. They are easily identified by the lettering and tinted windows used to keep the dogs cool.
Current K9 Teams
Koda is a Belgian Malinois who joined the Westport Police Department in early 2012. After a basic training program that lasted more than 8 weeks, Officer Loomer and Koda started to patrol together as a team. Koda is a patrol dog who is cross-trained in narcotics detection.
Officer Loomer and Koda patrol in a specially-equipped Ford Interceptor SUV. This vehicle allows PSD Koda to ride in a special compartment just in back of the officer as well as allowing the vehicle to carry all the equipment a normal patrol car has to carry.
This vehicle is equipped with special equipment that pages Officer Loomer in case of any equipment malfunction that could harm Koda - like a loss of air conditioning on a hot day.
Officer James Loomer and PSD Koda
Officer Baker and PSD Chase are the newest members of the K9 Unit. Chase is a yellow Labrador Retriever who joined the Westport Police Department in December 2014. After completing training in March 2014, Officer Baker and Chase hit the road. Chase is trained for narcotics detection as well as tracking.
Officer JB Baker and PSD Chase (Hour photo / Erik Trautmann)
Westport Police Department K9 Memorial
On Memorial Day 2013, the Westport Police Department dedicated a memorial honoring the Police Service Dogs that have served the Town of Westport over the past 25 years. The memorial is located near the corner of Police Headquarters adjacent to Jesup Road. Past and present K9 handlers for the department were present.