K9 competition to aid local officers and police dogs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Every officer is called to protect and serve, but not all have the partners to protect and serve them.


A local nonprofit, K9s United, is bringing a contest to Jacksonville to help pair more police dogs with officers around northeast Florida.

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For Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Konner Achors and his K9 partner, Ace, it’s another chance to defend their title.

“We’ve spent thousands and thousands and thousands of hours training,” Achors says.

Read: Vote for St. Johns County K9 Sandy in ‘First Responders Paws Therapy Dog Award’

The K9 Competition will allow 13 trained dogs around Florida, and their partners, to showcase their skills in real-world law enforcement exercises, including:

  • Wall jumps
  • Tunnel crawls
  • Bailouts

6 of the K9s represent agencies in our local counties in northeast Florida:

  • Officer Stevenson and K9 Tyr from the Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office
  • Officer Cullen and K9 Chaos from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
  • Officer Boyster and K9 Kenzo from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
  • Deputy Hill and K9 M’Baku from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office
  • Deputy Green and K9 Cash from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office
  • Deputy Waddington and K9 Cairo from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office
  • Deputy Schrock and K9 Junior from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office

Though more than a dozen dogs are competing for the ‘Top Dog’ title, the nonprofit behind it started honoring one.

K9s United Founder and President Debbie Johnson says she started K9s United eight years ago, after K9 Baron with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office was killed.

“I think these dogs should be valued and highlighted,” Johnson says.

Read: K9 Officer Maverick officially joins Duval County School Police team’s specialty K9 unit

The competition has now become an effort to help local agencies afford more K9s, which the FDLE says can cost more than $4,500 each.

“I’ve seen the need,” Johnson says, “It’s not just budget issues here in Florida, it’s all over.”

Johnson’s hoping to help protect both our local officers and the friendships made with their K9 partners.

“I spend more time with [Ace] than I do with my spouse,” Achors says, “It’s like having another child in the house, the bond is just indescribable.”

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The K9 competition starts Saturday at 1:00 PM. To buy tickets, click here.

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