RNJ News Department

Pup and circumstance! Hackettstown police k-9 graduates from patrol academy (PHOTOS)

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – K-9 Jada and her handler Ptl. Christopher Laver were among three other officers and canines to graduate Thursday from the Union County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit’s patrol class.

Jada, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, was born and bred here in the United States, Laver said. He has had her since she was a few months old.

Laver and Jada attended narcotics scent school in September 2016 and graduated in December. She has the ability now to sniff out and detect the odor of narcotics, Laver said.

“We hit the streets for about four weeks before attending patrol school in January,” Laver said.

Throughout the 16 weeks of rigorous training, Laver learned how to handle Jada with strict obedience. The training also consisted of agility, tracking, article searches and criminal apprehension, Laver said.

The training was held at the Union County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit in Summit, NJ and the lead instructor was Sergeant Brian Howarth.

The town council unanimously approved the Hackettstown police department’s first K-9 program on July 14, 2016.

“Members of the police department approached me last year about the start of the K-9 unit to help stop the growing heroin epidemic and to assist with crimes such as armed robberies and home invasions,” Chief James Macaulay said.

An evaluation process was put together by Chief Macaulay and Patrolman Christopher Laver was selected as the K-9 handler.

“I am passionate about Hackettstown and helping reduce the growing crime,” Laver said.

Jada will be housed with Laver and he will be her sole handler.

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By: Jay Edwards
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