JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Duval County School Police have a new member on their team.
Maverick, a Belgian Malinois, officially joined the specialty K9 unit, fulfilling district leaders’ year-long goal to enhance school safety.
Maverick’s exceptional skills and dedication were recognized at the end of May during a swearing-in ceremony. Along with his handler, Officer Joe Baker, he completed his K9 firearms detection certification. This gives Maverick the distinction of being the first firearms detective K9 in Northeast Florida.
“With a specialty for sniffing out firearms, he will assist school police with conducting random school searches, investigating threats, and working large events,” a DCPS spokesperson said in a recent website announcement.
Maverick was donated to the school police force on Mar. 17 and began training with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit on Mar. 20.
This has been a multi-county effort as St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office has also provided guidance to school police in creating the K9 unit.
Next to officially join the team will be Chesapeake Bay Retriever/Poodle mix named LEO. The new K9 officer is still in training and is expected to join Maverick soon. LEO’s specialty training is centered around earning a certification in detecting narcotics. His handler is Officer Alison Connolly.
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Here is a video DCPS posted of K9 Officer Maverick being officially sworn in: