|Photo courtesy Hampton Police Division|
We don't always see them. They are among the most revered members of Tribe Dog — the K-9s. Trained to work with police and other law enforcement officials,
these dogs have unique and remarkable jobs.
Some are trained to apprehend and detain suspects; others to detect illegal substances, or find explosives; arson dogs to pick up the scent of an accelerant. Search and Rescue dogs are trained to locate missing people. Cadaver-sniffing dogs are trained to find corpses and human remains. Their job may seem sad, daunting, but untold families world wide are grateful to these dogs.
The first image you may have for a K-9 is a German Shepherd Dog or a Belgian Malinois, but other breeds are used as well. Only in the days following 9-11 did working K-9s come to national prominence as SAR dogs from all over our country came to ground zero.
Troy is one of these majestic and noble dogs who protect and serve. A Dutch Shepherd, he arrived at the Hampton Police Division in April 2006, origin the Netherlands. He was two years old. Troy had already received five weeks of intensive training with the American Society of Canine Trainers. He then received an additional three weeks of ASCT training with MPO Angie Dipentima — MPO stands for Master Police Officer. MPO Dipentima has been with Hampton Police Division since 1999. She is also an instructor for HPD, training officers to work on the Crisis Intervention Team.
Certified as a Master K-9 handler by ASCT on May 5, 2006, she and Troy were on the job the next day. He accompanies her to work five days a week. Troy's specialty is narcotics detection. A typical day in their lives includes random inspections in the business districts of Hampton in hotels, restaurants, bars, parking establishments and warehouses. Troy receives sixteen hours of training each month with MPO Dipentima.
I first saw Troy in a video from a PBS special called The dogs are alright: The Vick dogs make a comeback.
To me this video is mesmerizing. All fourteen minutes and thirteen seconds — a story that sent shock waves across the country in 2007. The story continues, but now it's about grace and redemption. Inspiration. Troy appears in only the first :32 seconds but he steals the show, in the very best sense. Take a look. You'll see. He was then and is now a star. Every day that Troy works in the city of Hampton, Virginia the citizens can rest easy. He protects and serves, 24/7.
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