A Tribute to our Heroes

Canine Xerxes

Partner: Cpl. Ed Hunter Vermont State Police
February 3, 2006

Xerxes was 14 years old when he died. Xerxes came to the Hunter family as a young puppy. He quickly became a member of the family, a loyal friend, and a partner eager to always go to work even up to the final days before his passing.

During his career Xerxes had a great record of successful tracks. Ed and Xerxes graduated from Basic Patrol Dog School on Nov 1, 1996. Basic Narcotics Detection School just 1 year later on Nov 21, 1997, and the Advanced Tracking School on May 21, 1999.


Drug Dog of the Year Award – 1999, by VPCA

Canine and Handler of the Year Award – 2000, 2002, by the VPCA.

Meritorious Service Award – Vermont State Police.

Professional Dog of the Year – 2003, by the VT Veterinary Medical Association.

Canine Kilo

Partner: Ptl. David Dewey, Colchester Police Department

When I was 8, I knew that I wanted a K-9. That dream was realized in 1998 at Winooski PD when K-9 Kilo was delivered to our front doorstep, a donated dog whose mission in life was going to be to save me from bad guys (and myself), track down bad guys, bite bad guys, and find bad guys’ drugs. He was a little 6 week old pup, with big feet, and huge ears. Winooski businesses provided the funds to begin.

Monday night Kilo died during surgery from complications of a really bad infection. My friend (Dr. Howard) and his staff did all that they could. I was with him. I will miss him.

Kilo has been my best friend, my partner, our family member, a co-worker, and an all around great dog. He served me (us) well up to his last week. He helped me through some rough times, tracked down some really bad dudes, found some drugs, helped the Po-Po snag some drug money, located a few runaways, and saved my ass more times than I can count.

Kilo was the star of the show at dozens of demos at schools, colleges, Boy Scout meetings, Special Olympic events, daycares, public events and camps, and hundreds of people had the opportunity to see him work, see him bite one our many chew toys (you know who you are, especially Akerlind, Ziter, and Lamoureux)), scratch some cars (thanks Fish and Soons), find some drugs, and wag his huge tail and carry the bite sleeve around like a little princess, eventually jumping in the cruiser with the bite sleeve that doesn’t fit through the window.

Many of you had the opportunity to feed him, of course just dog food (Diana, Pat, Gail, Squaw), and if you didn’t he would stalk you until you caved in (Barton, Chief). Sometimes he would come home fat, but always happy.

Frisbee throwing will never be the same. I will probably continue to find little pieces of frisbee (and long black dog fur) for many years to come, at home and at Colchester PD.

Thank you all for your help during these past years. Your help, intentional or not, helped make Kilo the dog that he was and made the K-9 program here what it has become.

I’ll never forget the little puppy squeals when he was excited, the chasing the flashlight, the shredding of boxes, the eerie sound of him upon entry into a building, and the going nuts on the floor for no apparent reason except that he still heard McCullagh’s voice in his head. My children will have to learn to clean up after dinner a little better without Kilo around.

Check out our website (www.vtpca) for some cool pictures of Kilo.

We will all miss him.


Canine Roca

Partner: Corporal Robert Sylvia

Chittenden County Sheriff’s Office

As many of you know Roca had been diagnosed with Addison’s Disease earlier this year. Roca died of complications from that disease early Saturday morning. Fortunately for her, she went to sleep and never woke up.

Roca was the Chittenden County Sheriff’s Office first and only K-9. Thanks to community donations, sponsors, the DEA, many of you, and the Sheriff I was able to get the K-9 program up and running in a relatively short period of time. I got Roca in May of 2003 at only 8 weeks old. She rode home with me in my cruiser on the front seat sitting atop a towel looking out the window. I remember the first time I pulled up in a parking lot with my K-9 marked cruiser with tinted windows. The labels said “K-9” and most were expecting to see the Shepherd jump out. Instead, out comes a butterball looking 9 week old lab puppy. I remember a group of people laughing at the sight of her after jumping out of that cruiser.

Around the summer of 2003 Roca and I began drug training with Sgt. Gary Genova and were on our way to becoming a team. I thank him for the tremendous amount of guidance and expertise to this day. If it was not for Gary taking the time out of his regular work schedule to help me get Roca trained there would not have been a K-9 program. After certification Roca and I spent many days and nights together. Most of her time in the cruiser was spent with Roca standing with her two front paws on the armrest between the two front seats with her head on my right shoulder.

Roca loved to work and loved to play. Show her a ball, stick, frisbee, rock, whatever, and it was game on. As long as you wanted to throw it…Roca would go get it. Her drive was one of the many aspects that made her such a great drug dog. The fact that she didn’t know the difference between play at work and play at home made her a great pet. To her it was all play.

In Roca’s just over two years of service she helped seize over $250,000 in currency, hundreds of pounds of marijuana, and pounds of other drugs. Roca had assisted every police agency in this county and several federal ones too. Roca visited many schools during her two years and loved the kids.

Many of you had the opportunity to meet, play, train, work, and sometimes care for Roca. All of you welcomed Roca any time with open arms. For that I say thank you. For those of you that snuck her treats and “people food” while I wasn’t looking…I knew all along. She deserved all those treats and then some!

There are also those of you that Roca took a special liking to. You all know who you are and I cannot thank you enough for loving Roca as much as I did. Sadly, Roca will not be visiting anymore and I threw her the frisbee for the last time on Thursday during our last training together. Roca will be coming home with me soon.

Although there will be no medals, no color guards, or uniforms at a service, please remember Roca as a hero as you would any other partner. She was mine.

My family and I will miss her dearly. I have attached a few photos of my hero. (See Gallery)


Corporal Robert Sylvia
K-9 Officer
Chittenden County Sheriff’s Office


K9 Scooby

Partner: Sgt. Christopher Buckley

(09/28/1999 to 01/29/2010)

Vermont State Police – August 2000 to December 2008

K-9 Scooby came to the Buckley Family in July 2000 from the Northeast German Shepherd dog rescue in Rindge, NH. K-9 Scooby had been picked to join the ranks of the Vermont State Police K-9 program. K-9 Scooby served with the Vermont State Police K-9 corps from August 1, 2000 to December 7, 2008.

From the start, all who encountered K-9 Scooby knew that he had a unique personality which matched his celebrity name. In August 2000, K-9 Scooby began his training at the Vermont Police Academy in Pittsford, VT. K-9 Scooby completed his 16 weeks of Patrol Training, gained his certification and hit the road running. Shortly after gaining his Patrol certification, K-9 Scooby attended and completed the 6 week Narcotic Detection
Training School earning this certification. K-9 Scooby also earned NESPAC certification in Patrol and Drug Detection.

During K-9 Scooby’s career, he made 26 tracking finds and completed more than one hundred drug searches. K-9 Scooby was deployed more than 300 times during his career. One of K-9 Scooby’s most notable tracks involved the track and find of a subject who had violently assaulted his girlfriend. The subject also had an arrest warrant for another assault. Just prior to the arrival of the State Police, the subject fled into a wooded area and into a swamp down the road from the trailer park where the incident occurred. K-9 Scooby subsequently located the subject hiding in the swamp. Upon making the find, K-9 Scooby stood on the subject’s chest in the middle of the swamp. The subject surrendered without incident. K-9 Scooby made many drug finds during his career. K-9 Scooby’s most notable drug find was 110 pounds marijuana hidden in a false wall inside of the trailer of a tractor trailer combination. K-9 Scooby maintained a 98% proficiency rating for his detection work. K-9 Scooby also assisted in the recovery of in excess of $200,000 in US currency.

K-9 Scooby was also well known for his many visits into Elementary Schools and Pre-schools around Chittenden and Windham Counties. Many children were drawn to K-9 Scooby because of his unique personality and his ability to make them laugh. He will forever be remembered for his famous reward when he completed a school visit, made a great tracking find or located narcotics. K-9 Scooby received “a cheeseburger, no pickles, no onions” for great work.

K-9 Scooby was awarded the “2006 Tracking Team of the Year” by the Vermont Police Canine Association. K-9 Scooby also participated in several “Iron Dog” Competitions and placed first in the 2001 competition.