k-9

West Plains Police K9 Unit

The West Plains Police Department stated in 1997 with a single purpose K9. Since the start of the program, there have been a total of 4 K9’s that have served the West Plains area. K9 Loki is newest member to the
K9 unit after he was trained and certified in 2020. The West Plains Police Department K9 unit has always been a community and donation funded program. The most recent fundraiser brought in a substantial amount of funding for the program to help grow the program in the future.

CANINE (K-9) PROGRAM

The Canine Program at the West Plains Police Department is a very valuable program that supports the Patrol Division and the Community.  On April 8, 2019, Canine Tuk was medically retired after serving seven years as an Officer of the West Plains Police Department.  Tuk’s original handler was Lieutenant Brian Bunch and later became Officer Justin Brown when Bunch was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

There was no budget for a replacement canine for the Police Department so a decision was made to begin fundraising for a replacement of Tuk so he could enjoy his retirement.  The first fundraiser was held on May 11, 2019 and was provided by the West Plains Fire Department that hosted a Chili Dinner for the Community.   Fundraisers that followed included, Car Washes, organization fundraising, donations, grants that were applied for, and a large banquet that was held at the West Plains Civic Center on July 12, 2019. 

Fundraising efforts raised in excess of $36,000 that provided for funding to replace Canine Tuk and a second future canine for the Police Department.  The fundraising will provide for two full purpose Canine Teams that will provide, Drug Detection, Article Search, Tracking, Protection and Search and Rescue.

Our new Canine, Loki, was ordered on August 21, 2019,
from the trainers located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  After several months of training Loki at the training facility he was finally paired with his Handler, Officer Paul Bradshaw.  After a couple weeks of bonding with Loki, the two of them returned to Tulsa for a formalized four-week training getting them ready for their partnership.

On Friday, November 15, 2019, after several months of enjoying his retirement with his handler’s family it was time to end the suffering that Tuk was enduring with his medical condition.  After enjoying a steak dinner, Tuk was put down surrounded by his family and fellow officers that showed their support doe the dedicated service that Tuk provided the West Plains Police Department and the City of West Plains.

Loki

K9 Loki is a dual purpose police service dog. Loki is a Belgian Malinois, which is similar to a German Shepherd, but weighs less and has less problems with mobility and hip dysplasia. K9 Loki was born in 2018 in the Netherlands, and trained in Germany before coming to the United States. K9 Loki is trained in suspect apprehension, which is more commonly referred to as a bite dog. Loki however is a dual purpose dog, meaning he is trained and certified in detection as well. K9 Loki is trained do detect narcotics odors such as Methamphetamine, Cocaine, and Heroin. K9 Loki is the first police service dog in the West Plains Police Department history to not be trained and certified in marijuana odors due to the legalization of medical marijuana in Missouri. Loki is also trained in building searches and tracking of persons. This can range from tracking of a suspect, all the way to finding a child who has walked away from home. Loki is also certified in article recovery, meaning Loki can find evidence that has been thrown away by a suspect during a chase. K9 Loki is primarily responsible for the City of West Plains, but has also been utilized by the Howell County Sheriff’s Office and other regional departments.

The West Plains Police department up till now has always had one single K9 team which has served the city as well as surrounding areas. In the near future however the department plans to add a second team to both better serve the community as well as allow for a rotation of call outs.
This will allow for less stress on the teams, rather than one team being subject to call outs constantly. This team has not been announced due to manpower shortage within the department; however, the administration hopes this team will be announced soon.

The West Plains Police Department K9 team is often utilized to not only serve and protect the citizens of Wets Plains, but also to protect the lives of the departments’ officers. K9’s are an invaluable tool to a police department and can serve in several different ways. There is no more versatile tool to a police department than a K9.