L-R: Charlotte Keillor, Constable Sean James, Trax, Trinity Trottier
So where do you go on a scorching hot day to introduce your new St Thomas Police
K9 officer Trax and his police handler/partner Constable Sean James to the media?
You go under a nice shady bunch of trees in Pinafore Park, of course!
At 10:30 this morning, August 29, 2013, the media got their first look at Trax,
and he took a good look at them. Three local children had all selected the same
name for the dog, making all three of them contest winners. 13 year old Trinity
Trottier was sporting a flashy new hair cut for her photo day with Trax. 6 year
old Charlotte Keillor was delightful as the media darling exhibiting perfect decorum
- much to the delight of her on-looking parents and grandfather, Stan Beleutz. Shy
little 6 year old Ryleigh Brayman was quiet and stuck close to her parents. She
declined when I asked if I could take her picture, seeking comforting refuge behind
her mother's legs.
Trax's partner/handler Constable Sean James, a 10 year veteran with the St. Thomas
Police Service, is delighted at this new development. Stating that he'd always wanted
to be a K9 officer, he said this was like a blend of Christmas and winning the lottery.
Constable James met his new partner a week ago and has received no K9 police training
yet at all. Both he and Trax will get that training together, as the team they now
are, over the next four months. At 10 hours a day, the training is quite intensive.
Chief Darryl Pinnell is thrilled to have the new K9 unit, not just for its police
value, but also for the public relations aspect. He's looking forward to the time
when this K9 unit of Trax & James can visit schools and introduce the children
to the St. Thomas Police Service, helping to form bonds of trust between the children
The K9 unit became possible because of a $67,000 grant from Civil Remedies, and
because Stu Harper of Hira Construction purchased the dog for this purpose. Stu
said his company has backed Crime Stoppers for many years, and when he was approached
about this K9 unit possibility, it seemed a good fit. He is hopeful this unit will
Chief Pinnell said Trax police work will be primarily to search for missing persons,
apprehending suspects, and drug searches. Public relations will be his other high
priority job, and with Trax's jet black, curious face and inquisitive eyes coupled
with Constable James winning smile and affable personality, this K9 team pretty
much has that one in the bag. When training is complete, we will be back to take
pictures of Trax & James in action, so stay tuned.