WASHINGTON, N.C. (WITN) – Beaufort County Community College celebrates the first K-9 patrol graduating class in its new program.
The community college is one of only a few colleges here in the east offering this program, which according to BCCC was a 14-week intensive course accumulating 540 hours of specialized training.
This program, according to the community college, is a new initiative with the goal of enhancing law enforcement’s efforts with highly trained canine units.
Over the 14-weeks, graduates covered obedience training, drug detection, ethical considerations, engagement strategies, and rescue techniques among other topics. Each officer and his K-9 partner grew to develop a strong bond, reports the college.
The following are the graduates and their respective K-9 companions:
- Greg Van Essendelft with K-9 Tinnitus, from Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office
- Linwood Waters with K-9 Athos, from Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office
- Michael Cotton Jr. with K-9 Forrest, from Rocky Mount Police Department
- Robert Simmons with K-9 Bacca, from Rocky Mount Police Department
- Darren Powell with K-9 Ivor, from Warren County’s Sheriff’s Office
Director of law enforcement programs Cliff Hales said that these men took time away from their home lives and families to take these courses and graduate.