The Medford Police Department (MPD) is highlighting the department’s full K-9 unit. MPD’s K9 program was formed in May 1992. There are currently four K9’s in the program — two specializing in apprehension and two specializing in drug detection.
All MPD K9 Officers are members of the Oregon Police Canine Association and undergo a certification process annually.
Max is a nine-year-old English Springer Spaniel who joined MPD in 2016. He’s a four-odor dog, meaning he’s trained in detecting meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. His handler is Officer Rob Havice.
A lot of Max’s training involves proofing, which means making sure he’s only alerting Officers to the drug odors he trained to. Detection K9’s like Max are crucial to MPD because they’re efficient in helping Officers solve cases quickly. Max is one of the first K9’s in the state to become certified in fentanyl detection.
Nacho is a seven-year-old Dutch Shepherd who joined MPD in 2021. His handler is also Officer Rob Havice. He’s is a five-odor dog, which means he’s trained in detecting marijuana, meth, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl. His training is similar to K9 Max’s and focuses on proofing.
Nacho is also one of the first K9’s in Oregon to be certified in fentanyl detection.
Bones is a six-and-a-half-year-old Belgian Malinois who joined us in 2019. His handler is Officer Justin McFetridge. Bones is one of MPD’s patrol dogs, and is trained in tracking, article and building searches. His training saves Officers a lot of time and makes it safer for them during incidents. Occasionally, Bones gets deployed with the SWAT Team.
Bruno is an 18-month-old Belgian Malinois trained in tracking, criminal apprehension, evidence recovery and more. Bruno started training with his handler, MPD Officer Zach Mailand in September 2022 for six weeks at a police canine academy before graduating and becoming certified through the Oregon Police Canine Association. He now works in the field and continues to train weekly with Officer Mailand.
Medford Police remark that K9’s serve a variety of functions that help to protect the public, and our officers, from dangerous individuals and situations.