As the Fairfield see three of its K9s retire, it will add three new dogs.
The first new K9 officer will be trained this spring and will succeed retiring officer John Cresap, whose partner Canaan will also retire, said Fairfield Police Chief Steve Mayard. Cresap’s retirement was unexpected as he suffered a stroke in December 2021 and has been unable to return to work.
The other two dogs are “aging out,” said the chief.
“They are at a point in their careers where one of the dogs has been in service since 2014, and the other dog’s been in service since 2016,” Maynard said. “They’re getting older, and we don’t want to work them to a point where they can’t retire and have a good family life for a little while.”
The city is planning to spend $40,000 for the city to acquire and train two of the dogs. Officers Sam Larsh and John Vinskey will remain as K9 handlers for the Fairfield Police Department. Officer Kyle Allen will succeed Cresap, but funding to acquire and train his dog will be through the Matt Haverkamp Foundation, which was founded 18 years ago to honor the former Golf Manor police officer and K9 handler who died in 2005 in an off-duty car accident.
“When we lost him, we knew there would be no better way to remember him,” said Nancy Haverkamp, mother of the late-29-year-old officer. “We remembered how much work he did on his own on behalf of his department for them to be able to fund a K9 because Golf Manor is a very small department.”
The Fairfield K9 officer will be the Haverkamp’s 95th dog they’ve funded, and they hope to get to 100 dogs funded by this late spring, Haverkamp said. Three other departments are seeking funding from the foundation this spring, she said.
Credit: Michael D. Pitman
Credit: Michael D. Pitman
This spring is also when the Haverkamp Foundation is expected to hit the $1 million mark in funding, as it also funds equipment in support of the dogs, such as protective vests and heat alarms.
Fairfield’s K9s are acquired and trained at Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville, Pa., where Maynard said they’d received many of their dogs. Fairfield’s K9s are dual-purpose dogs, They work as patrol dogs, tracking and apprehending suspects, and they detect several types of narcotics, which include drugs the city police department has issues with, including marijuana, methamphetamines, opiates, and other drugs.
The Haverkamp Foundation, which is a small nonprofit operated by an all-volunteer staff, hosts two major fundraisers, including Matt’s 5K Pursuit on April 16 at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati and a golf outing at Fairfield North Trace in Fairfield on the third Saturday of July.
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