Local

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

Duval County School K9 Officer Maverick celebrates being officially sworn in during a special ceremony on May 31.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Duval County School Police have a new member on their team.

>>> STREAM ACTION NEWS JAX LIVE <<<

Maverick, a Belgian Malinois, officially joined the specialty K9 unit, fulfilling district leaders’ year-long goal to enhance school safety.

[DOWNLOAD: Free Action News Jax app for alerts as news breaks]

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.

Read: Nassau County K9 puppy in semi-finals of statewide tournament

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.

LEO is still in training but working to be certified in detecting narcotics.

[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Here is a video DCPS posted of K9 Officer Maverick being officially sworn in: