The wait is finally over. The newest member of the Windsor Locks Police Department has a new name, thanks to a group of students at the Windsor Locks Middle School.
Jaxx the German Shepherd is the newest member of the department assigned to work with . He will start formal training to learn the skills for his new job in the fall. In the meantime, he is living with Malone and getting to know his new owner.
This past week, students the middle school voted on three options: Lucky, Jaxx and Hunter. It was a tight vote, but Jaxx was able to edge out the competition. The announcement was made in an assembly on Friday.
Officer Sebastian Garofalo introduced the pup as he stood on stage with Malone.
"His senses are way better than ours," Garofalo told the students. "This dog is a tool."
Jaxx will be used in a variety of ways including searching for suspects, missing persons and conducting narcotics searches like the one that was conducted at the middle school just a few weeks ago.
"This dog is sometimes going to be called to come to the school," Garofalo said. "By January 1, 2013, we will have a fully trained canine."
As Garofalo spoke, Malone handled Jaxx gently, but firmly, keeping him by the leash, teaching him what is acceptable and what is not, and giving him rewards for obedient behavior. Then the two officers walked the aisles in the auditorium to give the kids a closer look at the beautiful brown and black dog.
Malone is the first canine officer in Windsor Locks in two years. It’s a job that he said he’s always wanted to do.
Malone will be working the 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift, with Jaxx by his side, come the fall.
"The most important message we want to leave with you all today is how important the police department is to us," Principal Gregory Blanchfield said to the 200 or so students assembled to hear the results.
"They want the best for each and every student, K-12," he said.
The department is trying to raise money to purchase a ballistic vest for Jaxx that he can wear while he is on duty. Donations can be sent to:
Town of Windsor Locks/ K-9 Vest Donation
c/o Finance Director Barbara Bertrand
50 Church Street
Windsor Locks, CT 06096.