LPD expands roster with two K-9s

New K-9 officer Gwiazda joined the force in March of 2023.
New K-9 officer Gwiazda joined the force in March of 2023.(KSWO)
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 8:01 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The Lawton Police Department has recruited two new K-9′s with the help of Lawton Crime Stoppers.

“You’ll notice that I have a sticker on the side of the car that says, ‘Baby on board.’ She’s a Belgian Malinois, and her name is Baby, so as you guys see me driving around on the street, that way everybody knows who she is. She’s about 18 months,” said K-9 handler Sgt. Cameron Paterson.

Both Baby and her counterpart Gwiazda are fresh out of training, having recently been certified to patrol with their handlers.

“Everyday is a learning tool. There’s something we learn every single day as a team, as a partner,” said K-9 handler Briar Adams.

Crime Stoppers Board Member Jerry Hrnciar said, “We think it’s very essential, and to the funds we got from the Lawton Community Foundation grant, we’re happy to do this and put this program on.”

Now that they’re certified, the dogs had the opportunity to demonstrate their training.

Paterson said, “We’re not only just trying to catch bad guys and everything, we go out and we do demos. As a canine handler, and with the dog we actually enjoy going to the schools and showing the kids the dog.”

“We did the citizens police academy, and so we got to go out and do a demo for them where the citizens can see that, see how they work,” Adams said. “It’s a small class, but at least it gives them something to learn, where they can get familiar with the K-9s.”

The officers say the dogs aren’t just a tool for work, they’re a partner.

“You always have somebody with you. There’s always somebody there. You don’t have much alone time, but it is nice if I go on a call, if I know I get into trouble, or if I need my dog, my dogs going to be there to have my back,” said Adams.

“Some people think of it just as a working dog. She ends up being part of the family, so once she’s not in the car, or he gets sick and I don’t get to bring her into work, I feel like I’m missing something, like I forgot to bring something to work,” said Paterson. “I think that’s what really I enjoy about it is you get to have that bond and that partner with you everyday that’s watching your back.”

These demonstrations are in preparation for a K-9 competition on April 15.