Mill Creek Police Officer Ian Durkee and Rasko became Mill Creek’s first K-9 team after passing their certification testing with a 97% score on Tuesday, November 26, 2013.
Rasko is the City’s third police dog this year. The previous two dogs proved to be unsuitable for police work during certification training.
The second police dog, Axel, had some issues in keeping his head down while tracking during pre-certification testing. Since the breeder guarantees that her dogs meet all certification criteria, the switch for Rasko was free.
Police Chief Bob Crannell introduced the new K-9 team to the City Council at their regular December 3rd meeting, “On November 26th Ian Durkee and Rasko were recognized by the State of Washington in compliance with the Washington Administrative Code as a Certified Law Enforcement K-9 Team. Officer Durkee and Rasko also achieved the milestone as the City’s first K-9 unit. Together they will work with other area K-9 teams to expand upon the public safety efforts of all law enforcement agencies in our region.”
Durkee and Rasko started their K-9 certification training on September 9, 2013, in conjunction with Federal Way’s K-9 teams at no cost to Mill Creek.
Crannell explained the K-9 teams training, “State certified training consists of over 400 hours of intensive instruction in addition to extraordinary physical demands. Although Officer Durkee and Rasko have completed their mandated training, they will continue to train and work with their regional counterparts for a minimum of 16 hours per month. The team will be re-evaluated for competency, ability, and skill every other year.”
Crannell thanked the City Council, members of the Police Department, the City Manager and other members of the community for their support in getting Mill Creek’s first K-9 unit.
Crannell had special praise for members of the community who provided financial support, “The Department would like to sincerely thank long time Mill Creek resident Roy Cats, a local business owner and former K-9 handler, who in early 2013 stepped forward with a significant financial contribution of $10,000 which fully funded the purchase of a police dog. Roy’s generosity and support made today possible… A big thank you also goes out the Mill Creek Rotary for their efforts in securing a $1,000 grant from the All State Foundation, which will be used to purchase needed equipment for the K-9 program.”
Cats received a special framed photograph of Officer Durkee and Rasko as a token of appreciation from the City.