CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice last Tuesday announced the launch of a new K-9 program for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Section.
During a ceremony at the State Culture Center in Charleston, Gov. Justice and WVDNR officials introduced the program and its six canines.
“These highly trained and skilled canines, alongside our dedicated DNR Police officers, will serve as a powerful force for good in our state and communities by protecting our natural resources and ensuring the safety of all who call West Virginia home,” said Gov. Justice.
Each of the WVDNR’s six districts will receive one K9, which will be utilized for search and rescue and human tracking, article searches and wildlife detection and evidence recovery. The dogs, which are German short and wire haired pointers and labrador retrievers, are trained in search and rescue.
“The launch of this K9 program marks a significant milestone in our efforts to enhance public safety and protect our natural resources,” said WVDNR Director Brett McMillion. “We’re excited to welcome these canines to the force and we’re grateful to Gov. Justice for getting behind this program and for his continued support of West Virginia’s beautiful natural resources.”
WVDNR Police officers who will serve as handlers will receive extensive training in the coming months. For more information about the WVDNR Police, visit WVdnr.gov/law-enforcement.